For decades, major cities have ruled. Real estate investment and development has targeted dense-urban areas conducive to live-work-play lifestyles, public transit and walkability. However, this decades-long urban renaissance may be coming to an end, or at least slowing down. The Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2021 report from PwC and the Urban Land Institute predicts that new real estate demand will favor lower-density suburbs and more affordable housing markets.

The report asserts that the pandemic will likely stunt urban population growth and drive demand to suburban markets. The trend has already been pegged as the Great American Move, which includes a migration from the urban core to both the suburbs as well as smaller metropolitan cities.

Suburban locations are already well positioned to replace urban markets. Many smaller cities already offer urban-style amenities, like a dynamic culture, entertainment and boutique restaurants. They also offer something major metros don't: lower-cost housing, quality school systems and space. These characteristics are becoming increasingly important to prospective residents.

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.