Definition of "Suburban Property"

Phil Traina real estate agent

Written by

Phil Trainaelite badge icon

Coldwell Banker Realty

As a suburban nation with the majority of Americans living in the suburbs, the actual classification of suburbs had long been expected. Still, recently, three academic approaches for defining suburbs and suburban properties have been provided. 

The first approach bases the suburban definition on a metropolitan area’s location that is not the main city and has less than 100,000 residents. The second one looks at homeownership rates, commuting patterns of the residents, and the percentage of single-family homes. The last approach looks at population density and the age of the real estate market. 

Some conclusions can be drawn from this if we look at the overlapping patterns of population density, a high percentage of single-family homes, and their location. 

What does Suburban mean in Real Estate?

When we look at the housing stock from a suburb, as mentioned above, the high percentage of single-family homes is the most apparent element we can see. There are some benefits to owning a home and suburban communities are aware of them. Statistics also show us that around 75% of suburban residents own their homes, and, again, 75% of the suburban homes are single-family homes. The difference between suburban and urban is glaring when we look at these numbers because less than half of urban residents own their homes, and around 40% of city homes are single-family homes.

Suburban properties are primarily single-family homes, but these homes do not fulfill another role than housing, unlike rural properties. People living in suburban properties don’t farm or raise livestock as there is no need. Also, running water, heating, and sewage systems are in place in most suburban homes, so there is no need to supply it themselves through wells and such. Suburban properties are connected and have access to all the cities’ utilities and, in some cases, to more. The amenities available in suburban communities makes them more appealing to families with young children, but, unlike the cities, suburbs are almost empty during the day as residents commute to work, school, etc.

Some key characteristics of suburban properties are:

  • A limited amount of open space with little to no space available for farming or livestock;
  • Mostly residential with some essential commercial properties to supply;
  • More accessible housing costs than nearby cities;
  • Proximity to urban areas.

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