Suburban sprawl slowing to a crawl: Could your suburb fall victim to the housing bust?
The following summary provides some important insight into suburban sprawl. First, how the lack of diversity in housing type in too many suburban communities is likely to impact the housing market in the coming decades. Plus, how the demographics for these areas are changing and what some of the likely remedies are for these dying areas. Remember, diversity is important - it's not just a catchphrase. It's no less critical to communities' survival than it is to the success of your own investment portfolio. With that in mind, Iâ€™d like to thank Kaid Benfield for bringing this article to my attention and paraphrasing some its highlights:
MSN.com has become the latest news outlet to confirm that the ever-outward suburban construction boom that defined United States real estate virtually unchallenged for half a century has gone bust, and perhaps not just temporarily. The latest, a new article by Melinda Fuller of MSN Real Estate, gives us an update with a few new tidbits: â€¢ Arthur C. (Chris) Nelson's trend research says that we may have a surplus of as many as 25 million large-lot suburban homes by 2030. Many of them will be converted to multifamily properties. â€¢ Aging baby boomers (cough) are likely to start selling off their large suburban homes at a rate of five percent per year between 2010 and 2030. â€¢ Some suburban homes that cannot be sold are already being converted into subsidized affordable housing. â€¢ The average European household spends only a third as much of their income on transportation as do American suburbanites. â€¢ The suburbs that survive will be the ones with walkable, mixed-use amenities. â€¢ Suburban retrofits may be the next development frontier, but outdated policies and practices won't make it easy. â€¢ Prospective suburban homebuyers should look for signs that their target area is in decline before making the purchase.
Take a look at this photo, from thisisbossi's flickr photostream. This is a shot from above a suburban area outside of Atlanta, one big city with still flourishing suburbs. However, this type of area represents the kind of communities that could be in trouble in the coming years: