What is “surban?” It’s perhaps one of the biggest new trends in the millennial housing market — and it’s exactly what it sounds like. A surban neighborhood is one that mixes both urban and suburban characteristics to create the ideal lifestyle for busy millennials. These neighborhoods feature the convenience and nearby amenities of urban settings, but offer comfortable, quiet and affordable living spaces much like a suburban setting. To help you better understand what makes a residential area “surban,” let’s explore four key characteristics of the surban trend.
1. Jobs are a Key Part of the Surban Trend
One of the key things to understand about the surban trend is the millennial lifestyle and the primary concerns that this generation shares. Among the top things that worry millennials are the cost of living and commute times. With hours worked going up across the board, millennials are looking for ways to cut time spent dealing with work. Since cutting hours isn’t always possible, millennials often look to cut the next best thing: commute times.
This generation has no desire to spend an hour in traffic each way between home and work, so one of the biggest attractive characteristics of a surban neighborhood is a wealth of good jobs near their homes. Surban neighborhoods are not only close to such jobs, but they provide easy access. For the millennial that wants to save money on vehicle expenses, walkability and mass transit options are necessary.
2. Surban Neighborhoods Must be Wired for Telecommuting
With the rise of the internet, telecommuting is on the rise, too. Polls from 2015 indicate that these days, close to 40% of workers work from home at least some of the time. For young families requiring two incomes to pay the bills, this often means that one or both parents works from home a majority of the time to balance income needs along with the needs of their children. Millennials aren’t settling for unreliable or slow internet connections because to them, the internet isn’t a luxury but a necessity to life. The surban neighborhoods of the future will be designed with reliable high-speed access so that it’s residents are able to work from home easily.
3. Nearby Amenities are What Make These Neighborhoods
The surban trend is one of amenities. Between rising work hours, the demands of young families and all the other obligations in life, millennials are experiencing a time crunch. Just like jobs, when it comes to shopping and entertainment, this group has little interest in driving long hours to a city center. Instead, they prefer their amenities nearby.
These amenities include not only shopping centers, but entertainment venues, too. Movie theaters, stadiums and places to catch the latest comedy act are all things that will attract millennials. Parks are another great draw. Millennials love spending time outside and they enjoy biking, hiking or going out for walks. Things like basketball and tennis courts or other places to play are a great plus.
4. It’s Not Just Amenities, But Culture, Too
Another major thing to remember about millennials is that this generation is the most multicultural in history — and they’re also more educated than any other generation. Millennials were born online and by ages 21 to 36, close to a third have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree. This exposure to the world and its various cultures has given millennials adventurous tastes. In a surban neighborhood, things like steakhouses take a back seat to sushi bars and other ethnic eateries. Pubs, an active nightlife and various other cultural attractions are a major bonus. It’s not enough to have a few standard amenities anymore. Instead, millennials expect a diverse range of options that reflect their experiences and their multicultural heritage.
When it comes right down to it, the surban trend is driven by two major factors: Accessibility and diversity. Accessibility is achieved through the nearness of jobs and amenities, mass transit options and online connectivity, while diversity should be reflected in a broad range of available jobs as well as an eclectic mix of shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities. As more and more millennials start to settle down, surban neighborhoods will go from trendy to mainstream.