Urban vs Suburban: 2020’s Biggest Question

  |     |   Friedman Communities

Recent trends have shown that people are making the move from urban locations to more suburban areas.  The move from the concrete jungle to greener pastures may come as a surprise to some, as urban areas have had a stronghold over the multifamily market since 2011.  It brings up the question, why are we seeing this change when things have stayed steady for the past 9 years?  The change in location can be attributed to a few reasons: lower rents, more space, and yes COVID-19.

Much of this shift from urban to suburban seems to be occurring in larger metropolitan areas such as New York, Boston, and San Francisco.  With COVID-19 forcing everyone inside and shutting down large cities, people have felt the effects both financially and socially.  With more and more individuals moving to work-from-home arrangements, there is no need to have a shorter commute when your office is in the living room.  No commute, shut-down cities, and confined spaces may have been the push needed to reassess living situations and make a move.

While we are seeing people leaving metropolitan areas, one should not expect to find streets empty and occupancy rates at an all-time low.  In cities a little closer to home, such as Detroit, Michigan, we are seeing growth in our multifamily urban areas.  A report from Yardi Matrix shows that rent in Detroit grew by .2% while it decreased across the nation in 2020.  This positive change shows us that things are not universal in the multifamily industry.  Different markets are reflecting changes based on their individual challenges.  


As we see some urban markets performing better than others, the overwhelming majority are experiencing a change in occupancy.  If the past has shown us anything, it’s that people will move back to urban areas and the battle between suburban and urban will continue.  This natural ebb and flow between the two keep things interesting in the multifamily industry.

Check out our available apartment homes in both suburban and urban locations to find your perfect community to call home!


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