Urban Upswing: Home Values and Rents in Urban, Suburban and Rural Areas

Urban Upswing: Home Values and Rents in Urban, Suburban and Rural Areas


  • Nationwide average home values in areas considered more urban are higher than home values in suburban or rural areas.zillow
  • The gap between home values per-square-foot in urban and suburban areas has widened dramatically over the past two decades.
  • Average suburban rents nationwide are slightly higher than urban rents.


The suburban home – long a symbol of success, stability and the American Dream – appears to be losing some of its luster as the appeal of city living gains steam and urban homes grow in value more quickly.

For decades, homes in suburban areas were worth more overall than their urban counterparts, a reflection of the value Americans have traditionally placed on the space, serenity and safety of the suburbs, among other characteristics. But in November 2014, the script flipped, with average urban home values overtaking suburban home values nationwide and in a number of large metro markets, and the trend has continued and accelerated into today. As of the end of 2015, the typical U.S. home in an urban area is worth $269,036, almost 2 percent more than the average suburban home value of $263,987.

And while it took until 2014 for urban home values to surpass suburban home values, homes in urban areas have been appreciating more quickly year-over-year than their suburban counterparts since March 2012. Over the past five years (2010-2015), average urban home values have grown 28.4 percent, compared to 21.1 percent for suburban home values. In the past year alone, U.S. urban home values grew 7.5 percent, compared to 5.9 percent for suburban homes.

On a per-square-foot-basis, homes in urban areas nationwide used to be worth roughly the same as suburban homes, before a gap started emerging in the late 1990s which has become progressively wider over the past roughly two decades. Currently, the gap stands at 24.5 percent, with suburban homes valued at $156 per-square-foot and average U.S. urban homes worth $198 per-square-foot.

By Cody Fuller on 1/28/2016
Read the original article and explore the data more fully at http://www.zillow.com/research/urban-suburban-rural-values-rents-11714/

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