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New Data Highlights Top Suburban and SFR Investment Markets

Phil Hall
Feb 13, 2017

It often seems that you cannot go a week without a Top 10 list relating to housing markets. And as luck would have it, this week kicks off with two new Top 10 lists. is offering its rundown of the nation’s top suburban housing markets. For this listing, the number crunch involved proximity to thriving urban centers and demonstrated household growth. Topping the list was the Northeast/Montbello area outside of Denver, which praised for being “home to a busy commercial warehouse district and [offering] some of the most affordable homes in close proximity to Denver.”
Other hot suburban markets including the Wylie/St. Paul area outside of Dallas, the Dublin/Dougherty market in California’s Bay Area, Daffan/Hornsby Bend near Texas’ capital city of Austin, the Orient Park/Progress Village/Palm River-Clair Mel suburb near Tampa, the Vista East/Vista Park area near Orland, the Cutler Bay/Lakes by the Bay area near the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach corridor, the San Jose suburb of Milpitas, the Nashville suburban market of Williamsburg/Waterhill/White Haven/Blackman, and the Friendship/Apex community just west of Raleigh, N.C.
"Suburbs are traditionally viewed as meccas for young families, willing to trade in shorter commute times and urban nightlife for better schools and larger homes," said Jonathan Smoke,’s chief economist. "But the relationship between the suburbs and urban areas is far more intertwined. In recent years, rising home prices and inventory shortages in urban centers have made affordable suburban home prices more appealing for buyers. Our analysis indicates 50 percent of buyers planning to purchase a home this spring indicated they preferred a home in the suburbs."
Separately, the online real estate investment management firm HomeUnion released its 2017 National Single-Family Rental Research (SFR) Report, which ranks 31 metro areas based on yields, rental demand, investment home prices and capital markets conditions. Atlanta topped the Opportunity Rankings list as the metro area offering the best real estate investment opportunities this year, thanks in large part to a 2.8 percent employment growth, a 3.5 percent rent growth and a 120 basis-point vacancy decline. Other metros in the Top 10 for SFR investment opportunities were Orlando, Seattle, Las Vegas, Chicago, San Diego, Oakland, Detroit, Dallas and Memphis.
“Strong job growth will encourage new household formation, particularly among millennials that have been living with their parents,” Steve Hovland, director of research at HomeUnion and author of the report. “As most of these new households are unlikely to enter the ownership pool, this will create demand for rental properties. Additionally, higher home prices, limited inventory, debt burdens and rising interest rates will limit the number of first-time homebuyers to approximately 35 percent of the market, well below the long-term trend of 40 percent.”
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