The authors of the report point to data that shows young homebuyers are eschewing the amenities of suburban life for the diversity, culture and opportunity that characterizes city life. In 2011, city growth surpassed or equaled that of suburbs in approximately 33 of America’s 51 large metropolitan areas. This is a notable change from the previous decade in which only five urban centres outpaced their suburbs in population growth.
Ford’s term, “the intima-city”, is an attempt to define the growing importance of creating intimacy in big cities. “[W]here city life was once equated with hustle, bustle and the anonymity that comes with it, residents are now putting names to faces, establishing neighborhood co-ops and pulling in small town values,” write the report’s authors.
City growth outpacing suburb growth is a trend in Canada too. Between 2006 and 2011, Toronto’s population growth rate tripled and bested the growth rate of its suburbs.
It’s an incredible trend that could reshape cities across the continent. Here are a few more interesting facts from the Ford Trend Book:
- 88 percent of Gen Yers want to be in an urban setting.
- 13 percent of Gen Yers carpool to work while 7 percent walk.
- The 2011 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors found that 18 percent of homes purchased from mid-2010 to mid-2011 were in urban areas.
- 26 percent of those 18 percent of buyers were first time buyers.
- The most significant concern of those purchasing in urban/central city areas is the quality of the neighbourhood.