14 Apr Urban Cores Showing Steady Growth
As we continue our hopeful climb out of a depressed housing market, we need to take a look around to see what has actually happened to the industry during the hard times.
A recent Builderonline.com article focuses on the growing construction and revitalization of the urban cores for major markets in comparison to the outer suburbs. Reports are showing that since 2000, residential building permits in downtown areas have more than doubled and show no sign of stopping in their growth.
While it’s easy to attribute this growth to regional jurisdictions implementing smart growth measurements, I think it’s also due to shifting market.
Most of these urban developments or revitalization efforts are accommodating several market trends. Consumer lifestyle preferences are changing and urban residential living seems to be the best option. Consumer finances are constrained, which calls for smaller households. Walking communities and public transportation are high on the list and urban developments are able to adhere to these demands better than suburbs.
The article points out that “When you look at the regions that are really embracing walkability, investing in transit, and thinking about natural resources protection, these are the regions that are weathering the downturn best.”
This article leaves us with an interesting perspective on a shifting industry. Suburbs were the answer to a changing economy, which was the consumer industrial age. Now we are seeing another major economic shift towards idea generation and their transporting. This is more conducive to more dense economies and markets. Large suburbs are not ideal for this inevitable change. Small urban settings are well primed to receive this coming economy.