Evolving U.S. Suburbs Continue to Shape Residential Demand and Development

housing-in-the-evolving-american-suburb-1Suburban housing markets across the United States are evolving rapidly and overall remain well positioned to maintain their relevance for the foreseeable future as preferred places to live and work, even as many urban cores and downtown neighborhoods continue to attract new residents and businesses, according to a new publication from ULI.

The report, Housing in the Evolving American Suburb, describes different kinds of suburbs based on the key factors that define and determine their housing markets. The report classifies and compares suburbs in the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States—shown in a searchable online map here—and assesses the key issues that will shape suburban residential demand and development in the years ahead.

The report points out that healthy regions and fully functioning housing markets require a range of housing choices for households of different backgrounds, means, desires, and stages of life.

Some of these options, the analysis suggests, will reflect preferences among a growing number of Americans for denser, more walkable communities. Others will serve a strong continuing demand for new single-family homes in more traditional auto-oriented areas, particularly to the extent they can be provided more affordably and near jobs. Still others will, by both choice and necessity, offer lower-cost workforce housing—rental as well as for sale.

Read the Full Report

Among the report’s key findings:

  • America remains a largely suburban nation. In the 50 largest (and most urbanized) metropolitan areas in the United States, suburbs account for 79 percent of the population and 75 percent of adults aged 25 to 35.
  • Suburban growth has driven recent metropolitan growth. From 2000 to 2015, suburban areas accounted for 91 percent of the population growth and 84 percent of the household growth in the top 50 U.S. metro areas.
  • Most Americans work in suburbs, although job growth has been more balanced recently. As of 2014, 67.5 percent of the employment in the 50 largest metro areas was in the suburbs.
  • American suburbs as a whole are racially and ethnically diverse. Seventy-six percent of the minority population in the top 50 metro areas lives in the suburbs.

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