Think the market is actually driven by buyers' demand? Think again.
According to a piece in the NY Times Real Estate section, it is driven by what the real estate industry tells us we need. Developers emphasize "lifestyle" and then they convince buyers to want that lifestyle; and the term "lifestyle" is an empty, nebulous vessel to be filled with whatever images are necessary to entice and manipulate buyers to lay their money down. That includes making sure that "social connectors"--those whom people want to be around--are among the first buyers by giving them everything that they want.
What is interesting about this piece is its look at the ways that developers and agents play on the importance of strong and "weak" ties of social connectivity, emphasizing that friendship with cool people and larger opportunities for personal and professional progress are just a home loan away. The writer cites Velocity in the Gulch here in Nashville as a case of the marketing of broad-spectrum social connectivity.