Suburban Migration Back on the Rise

Posted On April 04, 2017

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The US Census Bureau estimates that for the year ending on July 1, 2016, the population in metro areas grew by 0.7%, while the population in surrounding suburban areas grew by 1%.  This marks the first time after a decade of recession that suburban growth surpassed metro-area growth.

Homeowners migrate into the suburbs for a variety of reasons including home prices, school districts, and available space. Booming markets like the San Francisco area are particularly susceptible to suburban migration because of urban home price appreciation.  The Wall Street Journal reports, “last year the San Francisco metro area lost more residents to the rest of the county than it gained for the first time since the recession.”  

Changes in transportation may also be fueling suburban growth.  Ride-sharing apps and other types of technology make it easier for suburban residents to commute to urban centers for work.  The next largest generation of homeowners is making the suburban shift also.  As of September 2016, Forbes reported more than 80% of millennials live in suburban areas.  Another contributing factor is suburban job growth.  A combination of available real estate, job creation, and income growth has lured homeowners away from city centers into the suburbs. 

Housing professionals expect suburban growth to continue to outpace urban growth.  As technology improves, transportation becomes more available, and the labor market grows, homeowners no longer have to live in city centers to be near work and amenities. 


Sources: The Wall Street Journal, HousingWire, Forbes, Yahoo Finance