Why are young adults moving out of downtown Boston. Do you ever think about packing your bags and moving to another country to start a new life abroad? If so, you’re not alone. An October 2023 survey by language tutoring company Preply found that more than 37% of its respondents aged 18 to 26 want to live abroad indefinitely. As for why, 1 in 4 said they wanted access to better programs, like universal health care. Others cited new cultural experiences, the high cost of living in the U.S., and our current political climate.
If you’re serious about moving out of the country but unsure where to go, a recent report from InterNations ranking the places where expats are thriving might point you in the right direction.
Mexico is also the friendliest nation on the list, with 89% of expats saying that locals are kind to foreigners. That’s 24 percentage points above the global average of 65%, per the report. Although finding a place to live can be challenging, housing is affordable and 71% of expats are happy with the cost of living. They’re also satisfied with the career opportunities and the work-life balance.
The InterNations survey found that 90% of expats in the country are enjoying their life in Mexico. Portugal is the only other European country to make the top 10, while the others are in Asia and the Americas:
- Costa Rica
For its survey, InterNations – which represents the world’s largest expat community – polled more than 12,000 people of varying nationalities living in 172 countries or territories.
Participants rated different aspects of expat life, from healthcare and safety to work culture, housing and more. Click below to see the full report.
As remote work continues on for many businesses and downtown Boston residents weigh the risks of being in densely populated areas, will more people start to move out of downtown Boston condos? Spending extra time at home and dreaming of more indoor and outdoor space is certainly sparking some interest among homebuyers. Early data shows an initial trend in this direction of moving from urban to suburban communities, but the question is: will the trend continue?
According to recent data from Zillow, there is a current surge in urban high-end listings in some larger metro areas. The month-over-month increase in these homes going on the market indicates more urban homeowners may be ready to make a move out of the city, particularly at the upper end of the market (See graph below):
Why are people starting to move out of downtown Boston?
With the ongoing health crisis, it’s no surprise that many people are starting to consider this shift. A July survey from HomeLight notes the top reasons people are actually moving today:
- More interior space
- Desire to own
- Move from city to suburbs
- More outdoor space
More space, proximity to fewer people, and a desire to own at a more affordable price point are highly desirable features in this new era, so the list makes sense.
John Burns Consulting notes:
“The trend is accelerating faster than anyone could have predicted. The need for more space is driving suburban migration.”
In addition, Sheryl Palmer, CEO of Taylor Morrison, a home building company, indicates:
“Most recently, we’re really seeing a pickup in folks saying they want more rural or suburban locations. Initially, there was a lot of talk about that, but it’s really coming through our buyers today.”
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) also shares:
“New home demand is improving in lower density markets, including small metro areas, rural markets and large metro exurbs, as people seek out larger homes and anticipate more flexibility for telework in the years ahead. Flight to the suburbs is real.”
Will the shift pick up speed and continue on?
The question remains, will this interest in suburban and rural living continue? Some, like Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) think the possibility is there, but it is still quite early to tell for sure. Yun notes:
“Homebuyers considering a move to the suburbs is a growing possibility after a decade of urban downtown revival…Greater work-from-home options and flexibility will likely remain beyond the virus and any forthcoming vaccine.”
While much of the energy behind this trend has largely been accelerated by the current health crisis, monitoring the momentum over time is critically important. Businesses are discovering new and innovative ways to function in remote environments, so the shift has the potential to stick. Much like the economic recovery, however, the long-term impact may hinge largely on the health situation throughout this country.
There was a time when Americans preferred to put some distance between their homes and downtown Boston. This was expedited by mass production of cars, and it was dramatically expanded after World War II, when veterans were offered the opportunity to live in planned suburban developments. In the late 20th century, downtown Boston grew at a very fast pace because of residential construction and the housing boom, especially with high rise condos.
Massachusetts residents were rediscovering their Boston neighborhoods like Beacon Hill, Midtown, and Seaport District, which has resulted in a rise in Boston high rise complexes. When looking at housing markets such as downtown Boston, it’s easy to see why people would want to move to well-developed city centers.
Before the Industrial Revolution began in the 18th century, most people lived in rural areas because that’s where the jobs were (ie, agricultural sector.) But then we had an Industrial phase with manufacturing processes and advanced methods of transportation were established and cities were where the jobs were, and this is where people moved to get jobs and better wages.
Now as we start a new era in 2020 young professionals are moving to the suburbs. Why? Because empty nesters are moving to the city to retire, such areas as Seaport, Midtown, and Beacon Hill. Driving Boston real estate for sale prices higher. This resulted in Millennial’s to buy real estate outside of downtown Boston to save money and also they were unable to afford Boston real estate. Developers are taking notices and are building in suburb communities which lowers their costs thus offering properties at lower prices, hence, attracting more young professional buyers. In addition, high tech companies are also moving to the suburbs to lower their costs.
With the expansion of roads and public transportation, it’s making it easier to live outside the city and Millennials are taking advantage of that.
Boston Real Estate and the Bottom Line
Early data is showing a shift from urban to suburban markets, but keeping an eye on this trend will help us understand how it will ultimately play out. It may just be a temporary swing in a new direction until Americans once again feel a sense of comfort in the cities they’ve grown to love.
In 2021, single-family existing-home prices rose at the fastest pace in five decades at an average year-over-year pace of 18%, driven by strong job growth, historically low mortgage rates, a post-pandemic recovery in household formation, and inadequate housing construction and pandemic-induced supply bottlenecks. At the metro area level, the differences in price appreciation were heavily driven by job growth and by businesses and people moving into the area, especially among workers with the ability to work fully remotely.
Are there markets where home prices are still undervalued relative to the market fundamentals’ underlying home prices? In its latest report, 2022 Housing Market Hidden Gems, the National Association of REALTORS® identified the top 10 markets with strong underlying housing market fundamentals but where home prices are still undervalued and relatively affordable. As such, these hidden gem markets are expected to experience stronger price appreciation in 2022.
In alphabetical order, the hidden gem markets are as follows:
- Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
- Daphne-Fairhope-Farley, Alabama
- Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Arkansas-Missouri
- Huntsville, Alabama
- Knoxville, Tennessee
- Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida
- Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, Florida
- San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas
- Spartanburg, South Carolina
- Tucson, Arizona
Read more here: