Despite oodles of planning studies predicting young urban professionals are heading toward downtown domiciles, a new survey says more than half of them migrate to the suburbs.
The online poll by Coldwell Banker Real Estate of more than 1,000 unmarried people who own property found 52% chose the suburbs over urban or rural options, naming among their top priorities modernized updates and appliances, and good old-fashioned yard space. Single women were more likely to say the number of bedrooms mattered most, while single men were slightly more willing to buy a foreclosed or short-sale home.
With outdoor entertaining in vogue, Coldwell Banker consumer specialist Diann Patton suggested access to a backyard may have been an important deciding factor for those choosing suburban over urban.
"It's not so much fun having a little deck where you can have a BBQ and four friends," Patton said.
Moving to the suburbs did not mean moving far away from work, though. More than half of the singles ended up with less than a half-hour commute to work and 40% live within a half hour of their family. In fact, family played a large role in home buying decisions, with more than one in 10 living with a member of their family and, of the 13% who co-own with someone else, nearly half made the purchase with their parents and another 28% with a sibling.
Coldwell Banker conducted the survey after its agents noticed an influx of single clients. "We think it's because awareness...(and) the affordability factor," Patton said. "If I'm paying X amount for rent, let's figure out what it would cost to buy a home....Why should I rent and give the money to my landlord?"
The survey tapped into what may be an encouraging sign of economic awareness, too. A vast majority of the singles -- 68% -- said they bought a home for less than they were pre-qualified to spend. Patton said she thought perhaps many had learned from the recent past and figured "we don't want to get into the same problem we've seen people get into."
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