The suburbs have appealed to homebuyers for decades. USHistory.org reports that following the Great Depression and World War II, automobile manufacturing resumed and families, who had postponed having children, chose to start families, leading to a baby boom. The roomy, detached homes in the suburbs were perfectly suited for this demographic shift. With automobiles that allowed a move outside of cities, thousands of people decided to move to the suburbs, generating increased demand for homes in these areas.
Today, the appeal of the suburbs continues. Several factors make the suburbs desirable, so we're likely to see residential real estate focus even more on this attractive location.
American Home Shield explains that as Americans move to the suburbs, the number of residents in each home falls. In contrast, the average single-family home size has increased. In 1949, a new single-family home averaged 909 square feet, but by 2021, that average had grown to 2,480 square feet. Suburban areas also offer the lot size needed for these larger, more spacious homes.
Price also plays an important role in average house size. American Home Shield states that areas with the highest real estate prices have the smallest homes. For example, New York State homes cost an average of $431.49 per square foot, and the average home size in the state is 1,490 square feet. In contrast, the average home in the United States has a median price of $203.61 per square foot and a median home size of 2,014 square feet.
This data indicates that moving out of expensive cities, where space is limited and real estate is costly, can allow families larger homes for a lower price. Homeowners get better value for their money and enjoy more space to spread out.
The suburbs are particularly appealing to families looking for a safe place to raise their children. Suburban areas often have better-quality schools than cities, especially when you consider student-to-teacher ratios and classroom size. Suburban neighborhoods tend to be safer than many city locations, giving parents additional peace of mind.
Moving from a city to the suburbs also results in a lower cost of living, which significantly impacts a growing family's budget. With food, transportation, energy, healthcare, and childcare costs, a family may enjoy a better quality of life in the suburbs compared to the high costs of living in a more expensive city.
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a move to the suburbs and a shift in work practices that made relocation possible. The Pew Charitable Trust reports that during the first year of the pandemic, about 2.9 million people moved out of the densest parts of big cities with populations of more than 10,000 people per square mile. Many of those who relocated sought out quieter residential areas, particularly big suburbs.
That massive move was prompted by the fact that workplaces, forced to find a new way to operate, embraced technology that allowed for remote work. Even as businesses have reopened, there's a continued emphasis on the ability to work entirely, or at least partially, remotely. This shift in the workplace has given more people the freedom to move outside the city's borders.
The trend of building single-family houses explicitly for renting, also known as build-to-rent homes, has gained significant momentum. In fact, Rent Cafe reports that in 2021 alone, 6,740 new build-to-rent homes were completed, with twice as many under construction. These homes are often found in suburban areas, indicating a shift in the housing market’s values and the growing popularity of suburban living.
For families, single-family home rentals offer privacy, ample space, and access to a yard. Renters may also perceive suburban areas as safer than urban locations, making it a more attractive option for those with children and pets. What’s more, investing in a home and renting it out can generate a reliable source of passive income and provide long-term financial gains through property value appreciation.
Overall, the rise of the build-to-rent industry demonstrates the increasing demand for suburban living and the appeal of renting a single-family home.
The suburbs are a beautiful location for many reasons. Whether you want more space, increased privacy, or to enjoy a quieter place than you find in a larger city, buying a home in the suburbs might be the right choice for you and your family.
Many Brookfield Residential communities feature new single-family homes, condos, duplexes, and townhomes in suburban locations. Some of these communities feature amenities such as parks, golf courses, pools, clubhouses, and more, giving you access to a wide range of activities conveniently located nearby.
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