Millennials, seniors are fleeing cities in search of affordable housing

Home building and sales are heating up in the “exurbs,” and the trend could be risky.

While the housing market on the whole has experienced a slowdown, there are some unexpected markets that are heating up.

They’re called the exurbs – or remote areas just beyond affluent suburbs – and Millennials and retirees in areas near Dallas, Atlanta, Las Vegas and San Francisco are flocking to them.

Why?

Because rising home prices and high mortgage rates are driving some homebuyers out of urban centers toward remote locations where homes are more affordable. Plus, low gas prices make longer commutes a bit more palatable.

According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, home building and sales in these areas are heating up.

The WSJ quotes yet-to-be-released data from the National Association of Home Builders, which shows that single-family construction in exurban areas rose 7% from last year, compared with just a 3% rise in home building nationwide.

Fannie Mae loan data reveals that these home seekers purchased new abodes located an average of 16 miles from central business areas last year – the greatest distance since 2004.

Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan told the WSJ that buyers are simply “having to drive further from the city center in order to be able to afford a house.”

But the last time these exurban areas witnessed such a flurry of activity was during the housing boom, and we all know how that turned out.

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