Exurban Housing Growth Outpaces Cities and Suburbs Over Last Decade

July 8, 2024 - 3 min read

Population sprawl

Affordability challenges across the country caused home buyers — especially millennials and Gen Zers — to expand their searches farther and wider.

It resulted in booming growth in smaller locations well outside city centers. Some of these exurbs saw housing stock and population surge over 1,000% from 2013 to 2022, according to StorageCafe.

See which housing markets had droves of new residents and the biggest inventory spikes over that 10-year timeframe.

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Rocking the suburbs (and exurbs)

Exurbs — or areas with fewer than 250 residents per square mile — increased in popularity during the pandemic.

House hunters, no longer tethered to their physical offices around urban cores, departed in bunches seeking more space for less money. The ongoing lack of affordability and available for-sale homes that defined the U.S. housing market over the past decade drove this trend as well.

All told from 2013 to 2022, housing inventory grew 15% in exurbs compared to 14% in suburbs and 10% in cities, according to the report. The rates of population growth followed a similar pattern, with exurbs rising 16%, versus 13% for suburbs and 9% for cities. For its analysis, StorageCafe took data from 4,098 markets. The table below shows the average growth by market type:

Principal CitySuburbExurb
Housing Inventory10%14%15%

The report does note that smaller, less crowded places have the ability to expand at a faster rate than cities since land is more available and affordable, usually with looser zoning regulations and less bureaucratic red tape.

With comparatively higher (and likely newer) inventory growth coupled with the potential to buy land and build a property, aspiring homeowners may want to expand their search to the exurbs — especially if you want more space or a quieter place.

Due to the area’s burgeoning economy, Vineyard, Utah led the country in housing stock gains from 2013 to 2022. Inventory in the former-exurb-now-suburb of Provo surged 7,204% over that timeframe. Blackwells Mills, N.J., came next with a 10-year growth rate of 1,980%. Fulshear, Texas (1,138%), Woodbridge, Va., (692%), and Nocatee, Fla., (382%) rounded out the top five.

In addition to Vineyard, swelling populations pushed other places from being defined as an exurb in 2013, to a suburb by 2022 — including Blackwells Mills, Fulshear, Nocatee, and Celina, Texas.

The table below shows the top 20 U.S. markets with the largest housing stock growth from 2013 to 2022, according to StorageCafe:

RankCityMetro Area10-Year Housing Stock ChangeHousing Stock 202210-Year Population ChangePopulation 2022
1Vineyard, UtahProvo, Utah7,204%4,1637,054%12,663
2Blackwells Mills, N.J.New York1,980%2,8712,292%10,047
3Fulshear, TexasHouston1,138%6,7321,200%21,552
4Woodbridge, Va.Washington, D.C.692%14,563838%42,619
5Nocatee, Fla.Jacksonville, Fla.382%8,390391%22,950
6Niskayuna, N.Y.Albany, N.Y.368%8,434319%20,629
7Horizon West, Fla.Orlando, Fla.234%19,956285%58,595
8Celina, TexasDallas233%6,958237%21,501
9Melissa, TexasDallas228%4,953192%15,244
10Palmview, TexasMcAllen, Texas215%4,401175%15,245
11Silver Springs Shores, Fla.Ocala, Fla.206%10,314300%25,453
12Davenport, Fla.Lakeland, Fla.203%3,267248%10,246
13Manor, TexasAustin, Texas202%4,572178%15,341
14Wildwood, Fla.The Villages, Fla.195%7,933138%15,735
15Prosper, TexasDallas191%9,902187%31,507
16Whitestown, Ind.Indianapolis187%3,800207%10,253
17Herriman, UtahSalt Lake City165%16,238136%55,301
18Fate, TexasDallas162%6,135167%19,010
19Amelia, OhioCincinnati158%5,272146%12,388
20Airway Heights, Wash.Spokane, Wash.155%3,05470%10,570
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“In a landscape characterized by flexible work setups and the post-pandemic search for more space, suburban and exurban areas are growing faster than urban cores,” said Doug Ressler, manager of business intelligence at Yardi Matrix. “High-growth suburbs are emerging in areas with natural scenery, especially appealing to remote workers and retirees, as well as in places with high-performing schools near medium or large metro areas with strong job markets, even when that means paying a premium on housing. This suburban boom allows people to enjoy more living space and provides access to more diverse housing.”

Advice for home buyers

Because of their higher ability for expansion, exurbs and suburbs outpaced cities in recent housing stock gains.

With the countrywide obstacles of little inventory and higher relative prices, exurbs could potentially offer aspiring homeowners more space and lower cost of living.

If you’re ready to begin your path to homeownership, reach out to a local mortgage lender today and get started.

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Paul Centopani
Authored By: Paul Centopani
The Mortgage Reports Editor
Paul Centopani is a writer and editor who started covering the lending and housing markets in 2018. Previous to joining The Mortgage Reports, he was a reporter for National Mortgage News. Paul grew up in Connecticut, graduated from Binghamton University and now lives in Chicago after a decade in New York and the D.C. area.
Aleksandra Kadzielawski
Reviewed By: Aleksandra Kadzielawski
The Mortgage Reports Editor
Aleksandra is the Senior Editor at The Mortgage Reports, where she brings 10 years of experience in mortgage and real estate to help consumers discover the right path to homeownership. Aleksandra received a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University. She is also a licensed real estate agent and a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR).