Millennial: Welcome to Hipsturbia
As more Millennial parents of school-age children continue to experience rising real estate prices that lock those families out, there’s a measurable and accelerating push toward the suburbs. However, some suburbs are cooler than others, creating a distinction between the “have” communities structured to attract those families and the languishing “have nots.”
As a Millennial buyer, what do you need to know to make the best decisions for your portfolio?
Spoiler alert: Cool suburbs are those that are becoming more walkable, with developments that favor the multi-factor appeal of density, retail, recreation and transit access. Many are in the midst of an emerging renaissance, with new apartments, eateries and office space. But all of them have developers taking the live/work/play formula that revived downtowns a quarter century ago and applying it to the ’burbs, with much success. But it’s not entirely that simple and the phenomenon is worth a deeper dive… Welcome to Hipsturbia.
What Is Hipsturbia?
“Hipsturbia” is a suburban 24-hour live/work/play environment anchored by a nearby big city, championed by the Millennial parents and workforce. Brooklyn is probably the most famous example of the cool suburb that has expanded its social profile into what are typically urban concepts. However, the idea is spreading and becoming more and more lucrative for investors, as evidenced by the Silicon Valley communities between San Francisco and San Jose, Evanston and the nearby Lake Michigan communities outside Chicago, Tempe in Phoenix, and Decatur and Alpharetta in the Atlanta metro area.
What do these burgeoning communities have in common? Several elements are vital to a successful Hipsturbia formula:
- Mixed-use, walkable developments that appeal to Millennial sensibilities
- Nearby university or academic culture that attracts a young and diverse student body
- Concentrated talent pool of young workers
- Local mass transit infrastructure, and connectivity with adjacent mass transit networks
In short, Hipsturbia is not just a neighborhood or an area, it’s is an emerging lifestyle driven by the needs and desires of the next generation of American families and home buyers.
Creating and Sustaining Affordable Communities
Family migration outward from downtown areas is nothing new – having kids and moving to the suburbs has been a common component of the American narrative since the 1950s. What is new is the trend to create suburban communities that do away with the need to return to the urban core to enjoy dining, shopping and entertainment, find jobs, or connect with cultural events.
The new Hipsturbia integrates all of those elements formerly reserved for big cities – these new areas are condensed, diverse, walkable (or “mass transitable”) and filled with like-minded Millennials who are eager to explore the potential of these vibrant new communities they are creating. You can read more about what these communities look like in our article “The Trend Toward Community-Oriented Development Is Here to Stay”.
How Can Home Buyers Respond to Find Value?
Short answer: get on board the train! Leaning into the new direction of the market means finding what Millennial (and Gen Z, soon!) buyers are looking for and where they are going:
- Community living in all its expressions, including home sharing, ride sharing and cost sharing
- Growth centered around universities and college towns; these buyers are increasingly deciding to stay nearby after graduation
- Large projects that bind together diverse elements, including offices, hotels, serviced apartments and residences within a single development
- Open spaces and recreation areas that form a sort of community “connective tissue”
- Expanded mass transit, especially connections with larger urban networks that facilitate travel throughout the entire metro area
Hipsturbia is open to housing of all types: two-story, multi-story, high rises, as well as newer concepts that revolve around co-living. This diversity is creating heavy demand and lucrative opportunities: home buyers have a lot of choices available and are not locked into a very specific type of purchase to realize good value for a home.
Again, this is not a new formula and buyers needn’t fear stepping into the unknown. This is the same real estate market reorientation that helped revitalize inner cities at the end of the 20th century. Now it’s simply being refined and reapplied to smaller, outlying communities and a new target audience of buyers. This is a welcome opportunity for buyers that can translate into a beautiful and functional home in a growing community, as well as an investment that grows in value over the years.
Hipsturbia Is an Opportunity for Savvy Home Buyers
Paradigm shifts in the marketplace are opportunities for smart buyers. Hipsturbia – aka Tempe – has already arrived in the Phoenix metro area. Other local communities are recognizing the benefits of catering to the Millennial audience and are following suit. Do you know where to find these opportunities to buy?
At Collective Concepts, it’s our business to understand the marketplace, follow trends and guide our home buyer clients to the properties and developments where the best properties and growth can be found. Our team of experts can manage all your residential real estate needs. The 24-hour live/work/play environment of the new Hipsturbia requires insights that can only be found from real estate professionals who understand the full scope and necessities of the urban and suburban marketplace.
We have many new home buying possibilities to share with you. Visit [INSERT LINK] and fill out the information form, a member of our team will get in touch with you as soon as possible.