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Large Homes and Sprawling Suburbs More Popular than Ever

04/01/2015

For years, larger homes and sprawling suburbs was the preferred choice but then people started to choose apartments, condominiums, duplexes, and smaller single family homes in metropolitan areas. Today, that trend has changed so that rather than downsize, many people are moving to bigger homes in large suburban areas and even building customized homes of significant size.

More Space and Convenient Amenities

Especially among people in their 50s and 60s, large suburban areas have become appealing. For the most part, these individuals appreciate a quieter and less dense population away from the hustle and bustle of big city living.

Many people look for big homes that offer space while still being relatively close to grocery stores, hospitals, and other common amenities. According to Robert Toll, cofounder and executive chairman of Toll Brothers, which is a luxury home builder, there is a definite trend of people choosing larger homes opposed to moving to smaller ones, with West Park Estates being a prime example

In fiscal year-end 2014, this company sold more than 5,000 luxury homes throughout the United States. Overall, most customers moved to homes that provided between 3,000 to 7,000 square feet. In addition, many people spent a lot of money for custom options to include high-efficiency and higher-end fixtures.

In fact, many people are having homes built with added features to include outdoor kitchens, wine cellars, swimming pools, and so on. Of the total price of the home, these features account for up to 20%. As a result, builders and developers are seeing huge jumps in revenue. For instance, if the pace of buying larger and more luxurious homes continues, companies like Toll Brothers could see revenues as high as $6 billion.

The American Dream

As part of the American Dream, many people want to own a home in the suburbs. Even after the recent housing market crisis, there is an attraction to having a home with a private backyard, good school districts, and the “white picket fence”. Although not everyone will achieve that goal, many do because of a better job market, higher pay, low interest rates, and looser lending practices.

Another consideration is the steady increase in rent. Since mid-2010, the price to rent has continued to climb. Therefore, some suburban areas offer homes that are more affordable than the cost of rent.

According to a survey conducted last year by the Urban Land Institute, of people between the ages of 18 and 35, 69 percent planned to own a home within the next five years. As more and more people become interested in larger homes and sprawling suburbs, there is an existing inventory of properties.

People need to consider the carbon footprint. As shown in a study conducted by researchers with UC Berkeley, for certain areas the carbon footprint for a home in the suburbs is almost 150 larger than non-suburban homes. The bottom line is that while most millennials wanted nothing to do with suburban living until the past year, with many areas being highly urbanized, the level of popularity is on the rise.

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