Multifamily going strong in these hot suburbs

Denver tops the list for hot suburbs

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In multifamily, you will hear a lot of talk about the draw of urban centers. People want to be close to the action, as well as work, so cities and downtown areas often fit the bill. However, some metro areas have created some hot suburbs with attractive lifestyle options and the affordability people seek.

Suburban strength

In recent years, suburbs have experienced stronger multifamily growth than urban areas:

“From 2011 to 2015, suburban areas outpaced urban areas in renter household gains in 19 of the 20 largest U.S. metros. The suburbs of St. Louis, Atlanta, Boston and Riverside, Calif., all gained three times more renters than their urban areas, a new analysis by Rent Café notes.”Florida Realtors

A recent National Multifamily Housing Council forum honed in on the growth of suburban markets. More people are moving out of cities and into suburbs:

The trend is especially true for the millennial cohort. A total of 310,000 more young adults aged 20 to 29 moved into a suburb than moved into a city during 2014, Vance said. In the top 50 metros, 71% of households under age 35 live in the suburbs, Ducker added.”

Hot suburbs in the United States

A suburb in our very own hometown tops realtor.com’s list of hottest suburbs in the country. The Northeast Denver neighborhood offers a mix of dining and entertainment options, and it sits adjacent to one of Denver’s largest nature preserves, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. While this article highlights home prices, the area also caters to renters with several attractive multifamily options in the Northfield and Stapleton neighborhoods.

Other top-ranked suburban areas on that list, from Tampa to San Jose, draw residents with active business centers, more affordable housing options, good schools and recreation.

What millennials want

Another multifamily myth assumes that young professionals and millennials only want homes in city centers, but that’s not entirely true. Many young renters will opt for suburban settings if the mix of price, location, transportation and lifestyle meets their must-haves.

According to HomeUnion, the top suburb for millennial renters is Elm Grove, Wisconsin, just outside of Milwaukee. With an affordable median rent price and a short commute to nearby business centers, this suburb draws young renters. Other markets on that list include suburbs of Minneapolis, Austin, Nashville, Seattle and several others.

One multifamily expert, John Burns, counsels property managers to abandon broad generational descriptors, such as millennial, and focus instead on renters’ needs by decade:

“As an example, Burns pointed to current young adult sentiment, noting the group is ‘scared of debt’ because of the Great Recession. They want to own a house, but do not want the debt, Burns said. As such, they show a higher tendency to rent or live with family.”

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