Wednesday, August 13, 2014

In Suburbia

“Let’s take a ride, and run with the dogs tonight, in Suburbia.” 

I have no clue what the Pet Shop Boys meant with that line of their 1986 hit song, “Suburbia.”  It seems to me that one would either take a ride with the dogs, or run with the dogs, but not both.  But regardless if you are riding or running, more people seem to be doing both in “Suburbia,” more commonly called “the suburbs.”

This reverses a prior trend that showed that America’s big cities have grown faster than their suburbs in recent years.  A report from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that fourteen of the nation’s 20 biggest cities saw their growth slow or populations decrease in 2013.  Only 18 of America’s 51 metropolitan areas with populations greater than 1 million people had their cities grow faster than their suburbs.  That’s down from 25 in 2012.  So now it’s Suburbia that is growing faster than the urban core of cities.

Why the change?  Just recently we were discussing the appeal of condominiums in the core of major cities.  While those projects are selling well, it seems that greater growth is attributed to single family homes with yards and fences.  Most of us that grew up in the west grew up in a suburb.  That trend continues, especially for families with children.  That’s good news for home builders, and the economy since the construction of single family homes creates more jobs than multi-family projects.

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