The American suburbs are about to change, says Curbed reporter Patrick Sisson. A new Demographic Strategies for Real Estate report points to a shift in the archetypal housing developments we've come to know as the norm.
The report, compiled by John Burns Real Estate Consulting for the Urban Land Institute (ULI), presents a denser, more urban vision of suburbia that is powered by social and demographic shifts involving young workers, immigrants, working women, and retirees.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
Suburbs will look more and more like cities.
While urban areas are becoming more and more expensive, the urban lifestyle is becoming more and more popular, so suburban towns and developers are increasingly catering those looking for a more walkable, dense community. A new supply of smaller homes with little or no yards in high-population areas will meet the demand to commute less and live closer to restaurants and entertainment. The report calls this “Surban” development; suburban development that brings the best of city living to more affordable areas.
Huge demographics shifts, especially immigration, will reshape the suburbs.
The next decade will see a rise in immigration, as well as a change in the makeup of these new Americans, who will have higher incomes and education and settle in the suburbs. More will arrive via airplanes with higher incomes and educational attainment, as opposed to the perception of immigrants crossing the border in search of low-paying manual labor jobs.
Millennial families and empty nesters will reshape the housing market.
The pent-up demand for households for young adults will radically reshape land-use policy, according to Williams. The report predicts that a staggering 86 percent more households will form between 2015 and 2025 than the previous decade. That translates into 13.7 million new homes and apartments being built to meet the demand.