Avalanches in slow motion: Beware megatrend investment perils
Futurologist Matthias Horx famously characterised megatrends as “avalanches in slow motion”. Megatrends represent deep-rooted social, political, technological and economic changes that unfold gradually (and later rapidly). In real estate, these trends — both separately and in combination — embed large-scale behavioural changes, which influence long-term demand across sectors.
For proponents, megatrends represent clear forward indicators of future real estate sector demand drivers. However, investors that chase megatrends without stress-testing assumptions, rigorous due diligence and asset business plans, risk failure. Examining some of the pitfalls of binary megatrend thinking — not to negate the validity of many of the underlying trends — can demonstrate the fluidity of often assumed one-way demand drivers.
Logistics: technology and urbanisation
Let’s start with the ecommerce trend, which combines the technology and urbanisation m