Real estate is real property consisting of the buildings and land on it, and its accompanying natural resources like water, minerals or crops; and its accompanying personal properties like money, furniture or equipment. Real estate also includes the intangible assets of a nature which cannot be reproduced as monetary assets. For the purposes of the definition of real estate may include real property used for business, raw land intended to be used for development, vacant land that is intended to be developed, an improvement to land or other real estate owned previously by someone, leasehold improvements (including leased commercial lots, vacant land extensions and vacant land) and land held in lien.
The term ‘real estate’ refers to any tract of land or other property owned by someone else and intended to be used for dwelling or other specific purposes. The specific purposes may include residential, business or industrial development. In economic characteristics, real estate has great importance, and there is an average time span for the sale of such property to complete, generally one year.
In United States, most urban centers are built with high-rise apartment buildings. These are considered to be residential real estate. In some developed areas of United States, there are large numbers of man-made islands or cities. In economic characteristics, these islands or cities are mainly used for business and infrastructure development.
Other examples include single-family homes, condominiums, townhouses, apartment buildings, mobile homes, manufactured homes, farm houses and foreclosures. Single-family homes are the most common type of real estate. Examples include single-family homes located on pieces of land. Single-family homes are generally large in size, have houses, duplexes and condos and are known to be the most expensive type of residential real estate.
Commercial real estate refers to the type of real property used for businesses. The most common type of commercial property includes office buildings and retail stores. Some examples include hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, office complexes and corporations. Industrial real estate refers to the type of real property used for building concrete structures such as buildings used for steel manufacturing. The most common examples of this type of real estate are factories and warehouses.
In United States, the mortgage lending and finance industry are two of the primary engines behind the growth of the residential real estate industry. Mortgage lending is a critical driver for the growth of the industry because it facilitates the purchase of residential properties by financial institutions. On the other hand, the financing sector is the primary provider of residential properties needed by the individual homeowners. Another important driver of the residential real estate industry is home buying and selling, which serve as a secondary driver of the industry. In United States, both private non-institutional and institutional investors provide substantial funding to the residential mortgage industry.