Millennials are heading to the suburbs

July 14th, 2014

Younger homebuyers are searching in the suburbs.

Traditionally, the suburbs are seen as a place where people move once they are looking for larger living arrangements to start a family. Urban areas, on the other hand, have been seen as a haven for younger individuals who want the hustle and bustle of city living. However, many recent reports have revealed that this trend may be reversing.

Jed Kolko, chief economist of online real estate marketplace Trulia, recently said that millennials are getting away from the easy access to mass transit and amenities within walking distance to get spacious lawns and quieter neighborhoods. Citing data from the Census Bureau, he noted that dense cities weren’t as popular as their surrounding suburbs. Specifically, big-city suburbs and lower-density cities had the most growth for residents aged 20 to 34 between 2012 and 2013.

Big, dense cities and lower-density suburbs and smaller cities weren’t far behind. Small towns and rural areas had the slowest growth.

Colorado Springs, Colorado, had the most noticeable surge in millennial residents, with a 3.2 percent increase from 2012 to 2013. San Antonio, Texas, wasn’t far behind with a 3 percent gain.

Despite this trend, there are still some younger parents hanging around cities. This was indicated by the rise in the number of children under the age of 5 in urban cores. In fact, big, dense cities were the only areas that experienced growth for this population between 2012 and 2013, while all other areas posted declines, with rural areas and small towns notching the greatest decline. Fort Lauderdale, Florida, had the greatest increase, rising 1.3 percent.

Where are the baby boomers headed?
While reports have noted that millennials are moving away from large cities, baby boomers are packing up and heading for urban cores. Although June data from Fannie Mae showed that many Americans who are reaching retirement age are staying in their properties, a good number of boomers are still following the downsizing trend. The only change is that they’re heading downtown.

From 2012 to 2013, Americans aged 50 to 69 were mostly interested in big, dense cities and big-city suburbs and lower-density cities. Austin, Texas, was the top location for boomer population growth, rising 4.4 percent. Raleigh, North Carolina, and Dallas, Texas, followed at 4.3 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.