So I thought I’d share this with the community and get some input with other people’s predictions.
About 10 days ago I took delivery of a 2016 Tesla Model S with the self driving autopilot. If you don’t live in a clogged metro area this tech may not add value to your life - but to those of us in places like Southern California it is life changing.
You have to experience this tech to appreciate what a paradigm shift it will have on your driving habits and your willingness to drive long distances more frequently - and while only about 50,000 cars in the U.S. have these functional autopilots today, the tech will be in almost every mid range car from every automaker in 36 months.
Today I drove (actually the Tesla drove and I sat there relaxing with my hands in my lap the whole time) 2.5 hours through rush hour traffic at slow speeds I normally would not endure - I simply wouldn’t have made the trip. BUT IT WAS BLISS. Not to mention the fact that the car gets the equivalent of 100 mpg, so the trip cost almost nothing in fuel compared to my old 14 mpg 91 octane guzzler.
I see this tech as having an impact on home buyer behavior in every part of the U.S. where you have bedroom communities full of homeowners who commute into more expensive urban areas for work.
What is the impact? The impact is people will be more willing to drive a long way to/from work to have a larger home - thus shifting the demand curve for bedroom community real estate to the right.
If this effect indeed happens, then suburban real estate prices will rise (at least for a time, until home supply catches up, or the freeways become so clogged with autopilot cars that commutes become intolerable even with autopilot) - and the price differential between pad rent in MHP’s located along commuter corridors and apartment/SFH rent will increase.
If this price delta indeed increases, MHP owners should benefit because they can increase their rents while still maintaining the “low price advantage” over local apartments.
My predictions on the magnitude of these effects may be wrong - but they are coming, and sooner than almost anyone realizes except those few who have driven these cars. You cannot appreciate how much more pleasant driving is when you can relax until you have actually driven one of these machines. The rest of the public is going to realize it very soon.
Tesla is unveiling the $35K Model 3 in less than 10 days and accepting orders for 2017 deliveries - most likely they will announce that it will come with 2nd generation autonomous hardware. The rest of the auto industry will be forced to match forces and very soon all of America will be sitting with their hands in their laps.
Any other thoughts on how this will affect real estate? Disagree?