Millennials and young Gen X’ers are flocking to bigger cities to be close to the action. But with the rising cost of city living, they’re being forced to either pay a premium for rent or find affordable housing outside of the city.
These first-time homebuyers aren't just migrating to any suburb. They're looking for amenity-rich suburbs that have more of an urban feel with restaurants, nightspots, entertainment, stores and public transportation - all within walking or biking distance.
They aren't interested in sinking every hard-earned penny into their house. They prefer smaller, more modest single-family homes and want to allow room in their budget for other things they find important, like travel. And the suburbs are just the place for them to find this.
A shorter commute between home and work is also very important, and contrary to what many may think, the suburbs represent a major share of the jobs base. In fact, in the top 40 metro areas, 84% of all jobs are outside of the center-city core.
Plus, suburbs also typically offer better quality school systems and a safer setting than major metropolitan cities, making them even more ideal for younger families.
To capitalize on this increased demand and make themselves even more appealing, many suburbs will be investing more in their downtown commerce areas and expanding their public transportation offerings.
So, next time you work with younger first-time homebuyers, try to keep these things in mind. Are there amenity-rich suburbs near you that could be ideal locations for them? Are these suburbs close to your clients' work? Do they offer great school systems and affordable housing? Get back to the burbs and you could get back more happy younger clients.
• Urban Bound
• Real Clear Politics
• Urban Land Institute
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