Jump to content

SgtCampsalot

Urban Rise => Suburban Decline

Recommended Posts


On 6/4/2020 at 10:01 PM, CLT2014 said:

USA Today article continuing the discussion that there is an increase in interest in less dense metro areas and suburban home purchases by urban dwellers.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/05/01/coronavirus-americans-flee-cities-suburbs/3045025001/

America's most trustworthy profession (real estate agents) gives advice on the future of the country decided by 4 clients.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, CLT> said:

America's most trustworthy profession (real estate agents) gives advice on the future of the country decided by 4 clients.

Hahahaha. :tw_lol:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, KJHburg said:

If work from home is become more prevalent, why live in an area like the NYC metro area with the highest property taxes and some of the highest property values in the country.  Everywhere I go in Charlotte I see NY NJ CT tags either we are an tourist hotspot or these are recent arrivals to the area.  I know from my personal experience it is the latter.  

I was joking with my CEO the other day that I was excited about Zooming during a working vacation this autumn.  From the Caribbean.  Thinking that, if work from home becomes not just my new norm but a permanent lifestyle, I might think extra hard about moving to the beach and staying in a hotel when I need to be in the office once every other week.  

Talked to one of my best friends this week, who lives in a different time zone, and asked if he'd consider hiring an exec who didn't wanna move but could do in person a few days a month and he said for the right person absolutely.  

There's a lot of privilege in this post, and I understand that, but if you told me I could spend $5k a year on flights and hotels and keep my kids' school situation stable while living in Maine during the summer I'd do it tomorrow.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, KJHburg said:

I would say it is that real estate agents hear concerns first and why people are actually moving that they would never say to poll taker or even some of their coworkers or acquaintances.  

if you don't think the double whammy of Corvid 19 and riots in the NYC area will have an effect on people who live there considering other options, you are kidding yourself.  If work from home is become more prevalent, why live in an area like the NYC metro area with the highest property taxes and some of the highest property values in the country.  Everywhere I go in Charlotte I see NY NJ CT tags either we are an tourist hotspot or these are recent arrivals to the area.  I know from my personal experience it is the latter.  

NYC and the other American top-tier cities are fully invested in globalization, fewer ties to the national economy, and have tremendous internal out-migration, they are only growing due to mass international migration, which is drying up. From 2010 to 2018, NY State had a net internal migration of -1,379,210. With international migration basically stopped this year so far, they are going to see their population loss accelerate even faster. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Things change rapidly, don't they?

As of a decade ago, suburbs were doomed, and millenials were giving up their cars, and moving into lofts over retail beside the tracks.  But by the time this thread started (2017), we were already seeing a reversal of this trend.  The word "exurbs" was little used until the 2016 elections.  Then, exurbs were discovered, and suburbs rediscovered.  Of course, residents thereof had long been aware of their attractiveness.

In the Charlotte metro area, the urban/suburban divide is especially sharp once you cross the county line out of Mecklenburg.  Taxes are lower, crime is lower, and schools are better.  And if you don't think the quality of public schools matter, I would urge you to think again.  The rapid growth of northwestern Union County (Weddington, Wesley Chapel, Marvin, and Waxhaw) is a clue.  Check the statewide rankings of Weddington, Marvin Ridge, and Cuthbertson High Schools, and their middle and elementary feeder schools.  In my experience (residential lot development), school quality is the #1 determinent in people's choice of where to move.  Northern Lancaster and York Counties in South Carolina are experiencing the same thing:  good schools (plus lower taxes) equals population boom.  The 2020 census figures will be interesting.  I think they'll show the beginning of a swing back to suburban/exurban growth, with a slowing of urban growth.

And of course, recent events -- pandemics and pandemonium -- will serve to amplify the trend, certainly in the short run, maybe for a long time.  Work-from-home and Zoom meetings will be found to work well for many organizations.  And fear of disease and civil unrest will work in favor of the exurban boom.  Single-family development, much of it in gated communities, seems to be surging again in Union County.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I worked at Weddington High School more than a decade ago. I investigated the student performance of that time and found it less than others would expect. Providence and Ardrey Kell have higher SAT score totals, both then and today. I also looked at numerous other indicators of academic achievement and all of them, all of them placed Weddington lower than PHS and AKHS. Lower also than Lake Norman HS, another suburban high school just outside of Mecklenburg County and a peer school, in my estimation.  

One question I asked staff members and parents at Weddington HS during my time was "What is the most common college destination for our graduating high school seniors?" This information is collected by the school in the last week or two of the school year for each senior class and submitted to the state as part of the school completion survey. The answer then was: CPCC. Let me remind you that CPCC is not in Union County. 

When one considers the percentage of two parent families in WHS area, the average family income and parent education, the most significant determinants of student performance, my belief was that WHS students underperformed their expectation.  I wondered then if families were looking around the WHS community and choosing it for perhaps other reasons.

Edited by tarhoosier
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, tarhoosier said:

I worked at Weddington High School more than a decade ago. I investigated the student performance of that time and found it less than others would expect. Providence and Ardrey Kell have higher SAT score totals, both then and today. I also looked at numerous other indicators of academic achievement and all of them, all of them placed Weddington lower than PHS and AKHS. Lower also than Lake Norman HS, another suburban high school just outside of Mecklenburg County and a peer school, in my estimation.  

One question I asked staff members and parents at Weddington HS during my time was "What is the most common college destination for our graduating high school seniors?" This information is collected by the school in the last week or two of the school year for each senior class and submitted to the state as part of the school completion survey. The answer then was: CPCC. Let me remind you that CPCC is not in Union County. 

When one considers the percentage of two parent families in WHS area, the average family income and parent education, the most significant determinants of student performance, my belief was that WHS students underperformed their expectation.  I wondered then if families were looking around the WHS community and choosing it for perhaps other reasons.

 

Perhaps you need more current data than "more than a decade ago."  Marvin Ridge High, founded 2007, and Cuthbertson High, founded 2009, may not even have existed.  I know the attendance zones have changed substantially since you worked at WHS.  Here's a more current ranking of North Carolina public high schools:  https://www.schooldigger.com/go/NC/schoolrank.aspx?level=3

Marvin Ridge, Weddington, and Cuthbertson are rated #13, #15, and #22 in the state, respectively.  But note that the rankings include charter schools, early college schools, and tech and arts schools with small student bodies.  Of general purpose high schools -- the schools your children would be assigned to if they didn't seek admision into one of the smaller specialty schools -- the statewide rankings are Marvin Ridge #1, Weddington #2, and Cuthbertson #5.  Ardrey Kell and Providence, both in outer south Meckenburg, rank #3 and #4.  Let's not even talk about my beloved alma mater, Myers Park.

I realize there are many methods of ranking school quality.  But for little ole Union County to have the two highest ranked general purpose high schools in the state is impressive indeed.  As a former residential lot developer in Union County, I am in touch with the residential real estate community.  And the number one factor for the "where to buy" question is school assignments.  Even retired people with no kids consider this factor strongly, because they know that property values in some school districts will almost certainly increase more than values in other school districts. 

Prospective buyers even try to analyze what future attendance zones will look like, as new schools are built.  Here's how wild it has become:  I know an agent who markets homes in a neighborhood just west of Marvin Ridge High School.  She points out to buyers that there's not much room between MRHS and the South Carolina (Lancaster County) line to the west.  And so, she hints to prospects (of course, she can't promise it), the neighborhood is "Marvin Ridge for life."  And given that Union County schools are neighborhood schools, unless that changes, and there is no indication that it will, she's probably right.

Do people pay too much attention to the public schools they will be zoned into?  Perhaps.  But it is what it is.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, southernnorthcarolina said:

Do people pay too much attention to the public schools they will be zoned into?  Perhaps.  But it is what it is.

People care a TON about schools in exurbs because it is one of the main value props. Your school assignment changes and your house is just another home near a Target, Chick-Fil-A, and Home Goods and can easily lose a ton of value. In Union County especially, it is a main reason people decide to live there and your home becomes a commodity without good schools.

This contrasts to inner ring areas where proximity to shopping, amenities, restaurants, nightlife, and jobs has a greater influence on home values than the school assignments.  Not saying it has no value, but it isn't the primary decision for living in the inner ring. Places like Plaza Midwood and Sedgefield have million dollar bungalows due to location for example, rather than schools. 

 

Edited by CLT2014
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/6/2020 at 9:13 AM, KJHburg said:

I would say it is that real estate agents hear concerns first and why people are actually moving that they would never say to poll taker or even some of their coworkers or acquaintances.  

if you don't think the double whammy of Corvid 19 and riots in the NYC area will have an effect on people who live there considering other options, you are kidding yourself.  If work from home is become more prevalent, why live in an area like the NYC metro area with the highest property taxes and some of the highest property values in the country.  Everywhere I go in Charlotte I see NY NJ CT tags either we are an tourist hotspot or these are recent arrivals to the area.  I know from my personal experience it is the latter.  

I've noticed the same over here in the Triangle (I'm in Durham).  North Carolina's cities are very manageable and not threatening to people from the Northeast and West Coast who see leafy cities with a moderate climate and access to the most remarkable landscapes in the East.

Edited by Phillydog
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/6/2020 at 12:42 AM, CLT> said:

America's most trustworthy profession (real estate agents) gives advice on the future of the country decided by 4 clients.

Wait, I thought insurance, legal,  or banking professions were the most trustworthy?  Or, is law enforcement?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, KJHburg said:

I predicted this an interest in moving to exurban areas and small towns.  Now is this a trend we don't know yet but interest in small town living is increasing.

https://www.redfin.com/blog/house-hunters-eyeing-small-towns-coronavirus/

In my perfect world, folks who are looking for an alternative to the bigger cities would move to the inner areas of the many wonderful small towns we have, breathing new life into existing settlements rather than fueling the endless proliferation of strip mall/subdivision hell. Salisbury, Lexington, Burlington, Goldsboro, Reidsville, Shelby, Statesville, Lincolnton - these towns and many more like them have very walkable Main Street and in-town areas. They have good bones that could easily accommodate modest growth, infill, and densification that would enhance the character of the small town. More importantly, all of the towns I mentioned are not too far from the major metro areas, and could plausibly be connected to the bigger cities with some type of regional transit. Unfortunately, these areas are less likely to be equipped with the tools (and the mindset) to push for this type of growth, so increased demand in these areas is likely to only result in more sprawl.

IMO, Covid has not changed the fundamentals that have fueled the urban resurgence in the past decade. Suburbs and rural areas are not any safer from a health perspective, despite what some would have you believe. Autocentric suburbia is fundamentally unsustainable from an economic, environmental, and public health perspective. It will be unfortunate if the Covid panic delays the acceptance of this fact by the American public.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, tozmervo said:

To what extent is this also driven by availability? 

Most smaller towns in this region even in the 2nd ring counties like Stanly Rowan etc are in tight supply of available properties as well.    We will see how this works out but if there are lots of new work at home people who only occasionally need to go in an office there will be a movement to where people want.  Rural areas are declining in most of the state because of a lack of jobs but if I can do my job in a small town 50 miles from Charlotte and I might consider a smaller town for affordability reasons and others.    Work from home is big deal if that increases people can live in small mountain towns or down by the coast and still draw "big city" salaries.  After urban civil unrest in some cities and working from home gaining so much more acceptance I do believe there will be a movement further out.  As I said we will see.   First clue is how major companies  deal with work from home.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ertley said:

I have long hoped--*maybe* believed--that the next generation of us--those not in positions requiring location-specific, manual or in person customer service work--who would have far greater choice in remote working options would complete a reverse migration to small towns, buying those good old houses for a fraction of what they'd pay in cities, and fully reviving the culture of so many small towns that have become all too often stagnant. I still hope it's going to happen, and if anything COVID won't DEcelerate it. 

I think struggling small towns are more susceptible to the allure of the Growth Ponzi Scheme - the thought being that while a place like Charlotte or Raleigh can afford to be picky about development, these other places need to take any opportunity that comes along. So then, what has to change in the incentive structure to produce the outcome of small town revival, rather than exurban sprawl? One thought is that land use and transportation planning should be coordinated together at a regional level. Perhaps there would be a standard set of sustainable land use policies that cities/counties would be required to adopt if they wished to participate in a regional transportation system. In other words, no community is forced to adopt anything, but if they wish to benefit from being a part of a metro region's transportation system, they need to adopt land use policies that reinforce that system.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the point I am making is that with work from home gaining acceptance and popularity there will no need to commute except from downstairs to upstairs in your own house or room to room.  That is what might invigorate these small towns outside of major metro area.  I can see people living in a small town 30-50 miles out from Charlotte and just occasionally coming into an office or using the airport or other big cities' services.  I once mentioned to this to someone who lived in Locust in Stanly County and she said if I can't find it at Walmart or the Food Lion I will just order it online (just like the urban people do)   Small towns are generally more affordable than urban neighborhoods.  Just as some chose to live intown and work in the suburbs now there will be growth I think in these small towns. 

There are so many great small towns in our region 25-30 miles out that can grow and this would not add to congestion in the city at all.  And with wider broadband in rural areas more and more this is possible.  in

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One qualifier to redfin and realtor.com data is this is specific to home purchases / ownership instead of renting. Homeownership is more of a suburban thing than an urban thing. In addition, the spring and summer season in general booms in suburbs when families look for new housing. This data doesn't include interest in rentals, apartments, et. in urban areas for an apples to apples comparison in demand of location to live, instead of just locations to buy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, jthomas said:

I agree that a work commute would not be necessary for the people flexible enough to take advantage of that type of arrangement. My concern is that if these small towns see growth due to an increase in demand, that growth will take the form of subdivisions and strip malls - i.e. not the types of development that make a small town attractive in the first place.

To give an example that I am familiar with, look at Southport. It has a great little main street and a nice street grid in the town proper. It has the bones to grow up into a slightly denser and bigger version of itself without losing any of its small-town charm (think New Bern as an example of what it could grow into). And there has been a huge explosion of full-time residents there in the past 10 years. But instead of the town proper growing up within the same footprint, every forest and field on the edge of town has been plowed under to put up the same garbage strip malls and subdivisions that you can find in Mooresville or Summerfield or Holly Springs or any of the other thousands of faceless communities in this country. And of course, this creates the same traffic nightmares that people are ostensibly trying to escape, because the only way you can get anywhere is in a car. It's an endlessly repeating cycle of lunacy, and it won't stop until there is a major philosophical change at multiple levels of government.

That is why I am pessimistic about any shift away from urban areas under the current status quo. The possibilities are wonderful, but the reality will suck without some serious intentional effort.

You're probably right--no one ever lost money betting on being disappointed by people's ability to not live up to expectations--but there's also always *some* progress or improvement mixed in. I mean, that's why we're all here.

Fundamentally, it's a localized issue: The constitution of each town's council and mayor, and even their county governments, determine what direction development takes. I don't want to sound like a total elitist (we're all from somewhere less than perfect, including me), but a basic impediment to progress is that too many leaders of small towns have never lived anywhere other than that specific small town, or ones like it. They SO often aren't aware of, or interested in, better development ideas, and of course when coupled with a "business-friendly" ethos (i.e. bend over backwards to let them all have their ways entirely), you get the Southport effect.

Again, not to sound too elitist, but the change I'm hoping I may see is some movement back to small towns by--dare I say it?--PLUs, who have lived other places, especially larger ones, and have chosen to move to a small town for its benefits, and not principally due to lack of other options (i.e. financially). I think a significant percentage of people who live in those mundane subdivisions you described would gladly live in a better designed place, even more centrally located, if not for budget constraints. (And I'm in a similar position, so I'm not judging; when I bought my apartment I ended up in a neighborhood I'd never even heard of.)

But if even a small number of people who understand the difference that preservation and better planning can make find their ways back to some of these towns, they could influence the future of (some of) those towns. It won't be a majority, but maybe enough to start to shift the paradigm of small towns in the greater area. In the public health field, "South to South" (weirdly apropos here) learning is the construct by which you implement an innovative project in one region or country, with the (intended) effect that neighboring locales take notice (or are made to) of its results, and then learn from that initial (successful) effort.

Nothing motivates people as much as jealousy, and if even a few towns in the Metrolina area get it right in the next decade or so, perhaps due to new influences and ideas that have moved in,  they could end up mimicking them, despite their baser inclinations.   

But yes, I'll probably be disappointed.

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this is interesting and will be interesting to see if this trend makes it to Charlotte's center city.  

https://sfist.com/2020/06/20/spurred-by-bay-area-tenant-exoduses-a-renters-market-surfaces-in-san-francisco/

I am telling you this work from home movement will change people's decisions concerning their homes. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.