Trend Czar

About the Author

Jonathan D. Miller

A marketing communication strategist who turned to real estate analysis, Jonathan D. Miller is a foremost interpreter of 21st citistate futures – cities and suburbs alike – seen through the lens of lifestyles and market realities.

For more than 20 years (1992-2013), Miller authored Emerging Trends in Real Estate, the leading commercial real estate industry outlook report, published annually by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).  He has lectures frequently on trends in real estate, including the future of America's major 24-hour urban centers and sprawling suburbs. He also has been author of ULI’s annual forecasts on infrastructure and its What’s Next? series of forecasts. On a weekly basis, he writes the Trendczar blog for, the real estate news website.

Outside his published forecasting work, Miller is a prominent communications/institutional investor-marketing strategist and partner in Miller Ryan LLC, helping corporate clients develop and execute branding and communications programs. He led the re-branding of GMAC Commercial Mortgage to Capmark Financial Group Inc. and he was part of the management team that helped build Equitable Real Estate Investment Management, Inc. (subsequently Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, Inc.) into the leading real estate advisor to pension funds and other real institutional investors. He joined the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the U.S. in 1981, moving to Equitable Real Estate in 1984 as head of Corporate/Marketing Communications. In the 1980's he managed relations for several of the country's most prominent real estate developments including New York's Trump Tower and the Equitable Center. 

Earlier in his career, Miller was a reporter for Gannett Newspapers. He is a member of the Citistates Group and a board member of NYC Outward Bound Schools and the Center for Employment Opportunities.

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I'd have to agree that many - especially those who are 50 and older are likely shell-shocked and the majority will need to make major changes in past habits in order to have any hope of a stable future, but some of that change may actually come in the form of selling and spending.

You are going to see "garage sales" like you've never seen before while people slim down, clean out and covet cash. Once low fixed rate 4% mortgage money is a reality there may be quite a few people who decide to leave the Northern States and the prospects of $5 a gallon winter heating oil for a bargain priced canal front home in Cape Coral.

For the younger folks, if college money remains elusive, those with entrepreneurial spirits will forgo the education and beg, borrow and steal to put their ideas into reality. Younger minds are also more forgiving and less concerned with having their retirement money today - they are also the group that is earning lower salaries and most likely to retain their jobs. They will be the group that leads the way in consumer spending albeit in much lesser volumes than in our recent past. But how nice for them too - they will be able to purchase a home or investment property at very attractive prices and stand a much better chance of having enough money after mortgage payments to still buy an ATV or small boat and eat out once a week.

The only way the economy will truly shrink is when the population stops expanding. Until then, only sections of it will have more problems than others.
Posted by comment_user_455081 | Wednesday, February 25 2009 at 12:15PM ET