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Suburban Demand Returning?

Clearly, there is no shortage of demand for city living. Prices are soaring in the District and properties are active for just a flash before buyers snatch them up.

But nationally the demand for suburban living is on the rise again. In its heyday just before the recession, suburban living was all the rage. Developers were charging full steam ahead on creating neighborhoods with a slew of amenities, including the large yards that city living rarely offers.

Like the rise in city development, the suburban sprawl engine in the Washington metro area is revving up again as the economy improves and more buyers are getting off the fence and into a home of their own. But demand for suburban homes may also be rising because single-family homes are luring more renters, a recent Bankrate.com article notes.

Single-family rental units represented about 54.8 percent of the rental stock in 2011, up from 51 percent in 2005, just before the housing market tanked. During that same time, interest in multifamily rental units waned to 41.3% of the occupied rental stock from 44.8% pre-recession.

A recent New York Times article describes a small town called Ostego 30 miles from Minneapolis with one grocery stores and a miniscule walkability score.  It’s a town that is welcoming a miniboom of development.

Similarly, development in the suburbs around Washington D.C., from Brunswick, Md., to Lorton, Virg., is charging ahead. So, while the housing market, but city and suburbs, is tightly competitive right now, perhaps new inventory with new development will ease.

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