What looks like a typo is actually one of the industry’s biggest upcoming trends. A “surban” area is defined as a suburban area that has the feel of an urban one. This means that buyers get the best of both worlds: the ability to park in their own driveway, let their dog out in their own gated yard, and then walk from their home to dinner or shopping.
The reason these areas are becoming so popular is that they tend to put buyers’ minds at ease. While totally urban areas boast better entertainment, public transportation options, and employment, they also tend to have higher rates of crime and lower quality schools. City planners have started to take note of what is driving people to suburbs, or what is keeping them in cities when they might not want to be there. This has caused city leaders to push plans that would zone downtown areas for a mix of retail, housing, and job sites that were originally coined as “mixed use” areas.
Surban areas are perfect for buyers who are transitioning out of a single lifestyle and into a family one. These buyers are often still young enough to crave the action and convenience that city living offers them, but they now need more resources for their money than city living can provide them. The graphic below, from Big Shifts Ahead, shows exactly what a surban area can offer a family.
Examples of surban areas that have gotten it right are Reston Town Center in D.C., A-Town in Anaheim California, and City Centre in Houston, Texas. If you are interested in what a surban area can offer you and if you should include them in your home search, make sure to ask your realtor if they are familiar with any such areas.