So-called “second-tier” cities may not be coming in second for long, at least when it comes to real estate sales. The Emerging Trends in Real Estate® 2016 report, released in conjunction by the Urban Land Institute and PCW, anticipates that 2016 is going to be a big year for real estate in mid-sized 18-hour cities.
Rise of the 18-hour city
18-hour cities are loosely defined as any city with a population of more than 300,000 to less than 1 million. While they provide the amenities of even the largest cities—and much more than your typical suburbs or 9-to-5 cities—they aren’t 24/7 centers of chaos and noise. Instead, they fall somewhere in between, offering just enough excitement from 6 a.m. to midnight and quiet the rest of the time.
18-hour cities have become hubs for both job and economic growth. As a result, they are seeing a surge in population of both younger Millennial-types and older buyers, both of whom want an affordable urban lifestyle.
Big city opportunities, small city charm
For buyers who want the excitement and accessibility of cities like Boston, L.A., New York, and San Francisco—but without the price tag—18-hour cities such as Raleigh-Durham, Austin, Denver, Portland, and Nashville fit the bill.
Boasting a serious “cool factor,” at the heart of most 18-hour cities is a revitalized downtown area with modern housing, high walkability, and easy access to public transit, restaurants, bars, retail stores, and entertainment.
Furthermore, 18-hour cities offer ample and well-paying job opportunities and a lifestyle that large cities can provide. However, the cost of living—and of doing business—is much lower. As a result, these areas are attracting real estate investors, buyers, and businesses at a pace that surpasses many larger cities.
Demand for real estate in 18-hour cities
As the economy grows in 18-hour cities, the demand for homes will continue to rise, and investors will continue to build both single-family and multi-unit homes to meet that demand.
In fact, according to Urban Land Magazine, eight of the top ten favorable cities for real estate investment and development this year are 18-hour cities, and they have officially moved from “secondary” status to a top priority for investors and developers.
Job growth coupled with an increase in housing options is a big plus for real estate agents serving areas that are currently considered 18-hour cities—or even ones that are on the verge of reaching that status. That is great news, but the boom in opportunities doesn’t come without its challenges. Learn to navigate the ever-evolving real estate market in your city by taking our new course: Urbanization and the 18-Hour City.