Suburbs – Hot or Not?


An aerial view of a suburban area, with blurred view on top and bottom

For almost two years all we have read about is the multifamily boom in the city of Boston.

In the past month, however, there has been a major shift in the home buyer market. Data from the 2nd quarter housing market indicates that homebuyers are flocking to the suburban core outside of Boston. Could it be that the suburban corridor has found a way to fight back and reclaim residents?

Studies show YES! With millennials and empty-nesters making up a majority of today’s homebuyer market, developers have had to create a new strategy revolving around this new type of buyer. LIVE, WORK, PLAY seems to be the new motto for today’s young professionals and empty-nesters. To keep up with the buzz, we have seen developers add a series of superior amenity packages to attract buyers from all over. From in-house dry-cleaning to dog walking services, it is not hard to see the attraction.

One major driver of this new strategy is the establishment of “town centers.” In the past, suburban developers were simply tasked with building large subdivisions to attract families. Today, however, we see many developers building mixed-use projects to create a sense of community for the empty-nester and young professionals who value public amenities over space. These developments built around ‘centers’ create a sense of community for residents by including restaurants, bars, retail, and, most importantly, community amenity spaces for residents to enjoy.

In conclusion, with better options cropping up in these town centers in the suburbs, developers have found a way to allow residents to Live and Play for less. What kind of amenities are you seeing in your suburban projects as compared to your city projects? Should there be a difference?