Valparaiso, Chile. May 10, 2015: Houses on Cerro Concepcion, Valparaiso historic World Heritage of UNESCO
Valparaiso, Chile. May 10, 2015: Houses on Cerro Concepcion, Valparaiso historic World Heritage of UNESCO

Suburban and exurban areas have grown at a faster rate than principle cities over the past decade, driven by rising prices, limited inventories, and shifting homeowner preferences.

According to an analysis by StorageCafe, millennials — the largest home buying generation — have led the revival in suburban living. The need for larger homes and outdoor spaces, safer communities, and better schools are among the factors driving millennials towards suburban living. Additionally, a rise in remote work is allowing millennials the flexibility to live further from urban job centers.

"In a landscape characterized by flexible, work set ups in the post-pandemic search for more space, suburban, and exurban areas are growing faster than urban cores," Doug Ressler, business intelligence manager at Yardi Matrix, says. "High-growth suburbs are emerging in areas with natural scenery, especially appealing to remote workers, as well as in places with high-performing schools, near medium or large metro areas with strong job markets, even when that means paying a premium on housing."

In its analysis of housing stock changes over a ten-year period through 2022 and 4,100 American cities, StorageCafe found inventory in exurbs grew by an average of 15%. Inventory increased by 14% in the same period in the suburbs, while inventory increased by an average of 10% in principle cities. Population growth in the suburbs—13%—also outpaced population growth in in principle cities—9%—signaling a demographic shift. Population growth and exurbs during the same ten-year period was 16%.

"This suburban boom allows people to enjoy more living space and provides access to more diverse housing, but it also complicates efforts to bring employees back to urban offices," Ressler said. "The full impact of this major migration shift remains to be seen, as suburban and exurban living, continues to reshape, residential and work environment."

Regionally, Texas, and Florida are home to 12 of the 20 fastest-developing suburbs over the past decade. The two states have attracted people from other states, including California and New York, offering warmer climate, lower taxes, and job opportunities.

For example, the suburbs of Dallas, Houston, and Austin, offer a variety of jobs due to company relocations, attracting many younger households. In Texas, StorageCafe says many newcomers are seeking affordability and space, opting for living in the suburbs rather than urban centers.

Florida remains a popular location for retirees as well as snowbirds and "zoombirds" who spend a few weeks to a few months a year in the state. The short-term migration, trends impact housing stock, as winter visitors usually favor more urban environments for long-term residence prefer housing options further from urban hubs.