Jed Kolko, chief economist for online real estate search site Trulia, predicts that low home prices in the outer regions of metro Atlanta will lure urban dwellers away from the city to lower-density areas.
A quote from the AJC article:
"A lot of the search behavior we see is from the central [Atlanta] metro area to some of the smaller lower-density nearby areas.
…Realizing that by moving to the suburbs they can buy a home, many urban dwellers will also add to this future demand as they gravitate away from big cities toward suburban and smaller metros,” Kolko predicted.
Kolko is basing this on Trulia search data (apparently Trulia’s data doesn’t include info about the wretched commute for people who live far from jobs in ATL).
Until the ‘burbs have a massive re-zoning effort to accommodate the growing desire for walkable, mixed-use areas and lower commute times, I give this prediction a big thumbs down.
It’s true that walkable areas can (and will some day) exist outside the urban core via suburban retro-fitting. But not enough of them currently do to lure urbanites away. I can’t imagine giving up my pedestrian-friendly downtown neighborhood just to take advantage of a low-mortgage house in a subdivision outside the city.