Now that most office workers have been forced to work remotely, and amenities in urban cores have become largely unavailable, many Americans are reevaluating where, and how, they want to live.
“Many buyers are seeking a balance of indoor and outdoor space and affordability, while still maintaining that big city feel,” according to new research by Zillow.
As a result, the home buying and selling firm—in conjunction with Yelp—has created a “Cityness Index,” which identifies the US suburbs offering the best balance of those two types of locations.
The Index combines data from Zillow and Yelp to “identify relatively affordable areas near major metros that offer amenities that give the suburbs the feel of big-city living,” according to the companies’ announcement. “Key metrics include home values compared to the nearest big cities and to the country at large, housing availability, the mix and diversity of businesses—including restaurants, nightlife and the arts—and consumer reviews and check-ins.”
With those criteria, Zillow and Yelp assigned a Cityness Index score to hundreds of suburbs nationwide and identified the highest scorers in 50 of the biggest US metropolitan areas. Waterbury, CT, where the typical home value is $139,304, came out on top. Next up was Lowell, MA, typical home value, $323,576.
In order, the remaining high Cityness Index scorers, and their typical home values, were: Joliet, Il., $155,018; Sunrise, FL, $243,078; Pasadena, Texas, $168, 080; Lancaster, CA, $320,494; Hampton , VA, $188,373; Marietta, GA, $318,069; Norman, OK, $180,833 and Tempe, AZ, $338,052.
Explained Zillow senior economist Cheryl Young, “We are seeing extremely strong housing demand due to low interest rates and more and more millennials and Gen Zers reaching prime home buying age. This demand is also driving up prices and depleting inventory. Young people looking to buy and find space for their expanding families can bid farewell to big city premiums without giving up the feel of a city in amenity-rich suburbs.”
Yelp trend expert Tara Lewis is seeing signs of defection from cities, and believes these suburbs may provide a viable next home for many of those movers, she said.
“At Yelp, we’re seeing consumer interest and requests for quotes in categories like movers, packing services and mortgage lenders increase in major metro areas, compared to the same time period last year. For city dwellers who don’t want to sacrifice great amenities like restaurants, art galleries and nightlife, but are dreaming of a little more space and a more affordable lifestyle, these suburbs offer a similar variety of great local businesses.”
About Real Estate Intelligent Marketing (REIM):
REI Marketing is an innovative Real Estate Marketing Company that offers distinctive real estate services to developers and multifamily investors. We are a vibrant, dedicated team of industry professionals with international experience in marketing and multifamily investment.