Apartment Renters Heading to the Suburbs

Posted By: Jon Lowder Blog ,

Across the United States many apartment renters are migrating from downtown districts to the suburbs. From an article in the Wall Street Journal:

Many of suburbia’s new tenants say that this year’s shift to a work-at-home model removed a longstanding barrier to living in these neighborhoods, namely a sometimes aggravating commute to a downtown city office building.

Suburban homes also offer more room and outdoor space for the dollar. These towns’ more-limited cultural and culinary attractions matter less when many city museums, shops, bars and restaurants have closed or are operating at partial capacity...

Now, many real-estate analysts suggest the shift to the suburbs could continue. Work from home remains widespread, and prices in the suburbs still look relatively cheap. Even with recent rent reductions in urban markets, upscale city apartments still command a premium of up to $2,000 a month over surrounding areas, according to landlords and brokers...

Suburban rents are also rising for apartments that target the middle class paying less than $2,000 a month. Demand has increased as people worry about job security, but there’s been little new supply because most recent development has focused on higher end units and urban markets.

The article points out that before the pandemic many 30-somethings who had once flocked downtown were already beginning to move to the suburbs as a result of lifestyle changes, like becoming parents. Add the pandemic-driven trend of working from home and you have a recipe for a demographic shift.