People have been moving to the suburbs for generations, trading bustling city life for quiet communities in which to buy a home and raise a family. And prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, research reinforced the notion that suburban living is where it’s at for Millennials as well — despite long-held assumptions that younger homebuyers prefer urban areas. The driving reason was affordability, but now “social distancing” makes crowded cities — and attached product — even less appealing.

A report from last November makes a great case for detached living in the current coronavirus climate. “Nearly 90% of Millennial homebuyers told Redfin that they would choose a single-family home over an equally priced unit in a triplex with a shorter commute,” said HousingWire, and 85% of combined Millennial, Gen X, and Baby Boomer buyers would endure a longer commute to own a detached home.

Now, more than ever, this quote from Redfin’s Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather rings true: “Even as we’ve seen a revival in many urban neighborhoods, the American ideal of a detached home with a white picket fence and a private lawn doesn’t appear to be changing—at least for the time being. Our research indicates that the vast majority of homebuyers and sellers would prefer a single-family home over a unit with shared walls, assuming the price is the same. Just one out of every 10 prospective homebuyers and sellers would prefer a unit in a triplex with a short commute over a comparable single-family home farther away from their job.”

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