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Suburban sprawl set to be a growing trend in 2018

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As 2018 approaches, experts at Zillow predict the migration of urban-based millennials to the suburbs, where first-time home buyers will benefit from an expected increase in the new construction of entry-level homes.

Millennials who have typically favored urban living for its proximity to both work and cultural venues are sacrificing city appeal for the greater size and variety of homes available at lower prices in the suburbs. Building costs and zoning laws in cities are sending millennials to the suburbs, where builders are responding to this rise in demand for more entry-level homes. The housing market has seen an influence on new construction by millennials, resulting in homes designed with more livable and accommodating frameworks in mind.

Also influencing new construction designs are baby boomers, prompting a focus on structures that can be altered later. Concepts like the assembly of extra support beams behind shower walls ensure the ability to easily add grab bars for the aging generation. New, entry-level homes are being constructed with both the younger and older generations in mind, such as the trend toward wider hallways that can accommodate either strollers or wheelchairs.

“New homes will be designed to be particularly appealing to the millennial and boomer generations,” said Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “Wide hallways can make it easier to move in, as well as make it easier to navigate a stroller or wheelchair through the halls. Large drawers will replace cabinets, making it easier to access everyday items that previously were hard to reach.”

Inventory shortages will continue to be a concern in 2018, as the number of homes available for sale has been declining since 2011. Though inventory concerns will remain a contributing factor to rising prices, the most recent Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey of over 100 housing experts and economists predicts that home price growth will slow in the upcoming year, when home prices are expected to grow at 4.1 percent, compared to the current growth of home values at 6.9 percent annually.

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