December 15th, 2015

The 10 most affordable suburbs that will still give home buyers that big city feeling

SuburbsMichael H/Getty Images

Summary List Placement

With the pandemic driving a movement towards suburban living, many homeseekers are eager to find the towns that best strike an affordable balance between extra space and city living.

The data backs the urban-exodus trend, with Yelp reporting massive spikes in moving quotes in major cities such as San Francisco (up 34%), New York (22%), and Los Angeles (6%). 

Many of the urbanites leaving major cities are on the hunt for a town that boasts the amenities they left behind — the things that made city living so desirable in the first place. However, with demand soaring for single-family homes, markets that offer the best of both worlds are becoming more and more competitive, particularly for first-time buyers and those on a budget. 

Zillow and Yelp have therefore created a "cityness index"  that finds the US suburbs that do just that, and shared it with Business Insider. 

While the city-like suburbs that made the list are more affordable than the principal cities they surround, continued growth in buyer demand could quickly change the playing field, putting pressure on sidelined buyers to come to the market fast.

Jeff Tucker, a senior economist at Zillow, explained to Business Insider that with many employees now able to work from home, the need to be close to a primary city for commuting purposes is no longer a major concern. This has opened the door to to the possibility of living in smaller, more affordable, markets outside of primary metro areas. 

There is a growing interest in living in suburbs where restaurants, arts, night life, and retail establishments are close to home, Tucker said.

Combining data to identify affordable areas close to metropolitan cities, Yelp and Zillow sought out the most affordable suburbs with amenities comparable to big cities using five metrics to measure affordability: the ratio of typical home values compared to the nearest primary city, ratio of typical home values compared to the national median, the ratio of new inventory compared to the nearest primary cities, the ratio of rental inventory compared to the nearest primary cities, and the ratio of for sale inventory compared to the nearest primary cities. 

That said, here are the top 10 most affordable city-like suburbs in the US, right now. Data in the study accounts for June 2020 to August 2020.

10. Tempe, ArizonaPgiam/Getty Images

Typical home value: $327,963

9. Norman, OklahomaBOB WESTON, Getty Images

Typical home value: $180,833

8. Marietta, GeorgiaChris Lauer/Getty Images

Typical home value: $318,069

7. Hampton, VirginiaWestend61/Getty Images

Typical home value: $188,373

6. Lancaster, CaliforniaStewart Sutton/Getty Images

Typical home value: $320,494

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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