I have a few friends that moved to San Antonio after college. One of them is an architect and the other was a medical student. Both were initially bummed about moving to the Alamo City. It was so different from Houston and Austin and Dallas. They weren’t sure they would like it. They didn’t know a lot of people there.
I now see them post cool photos of cycling trips, historic buildings, trips to local watering holes and parks … they either learned to love San Antonio, or they busted their bottom to build the momentum the city needed to be a cool place. And you know what? More and more Millennials are doing the same thing, opting for San Antonio and Houston over Dallas and Austin according to Trulia’s dissection of U.S. Census Bureau surveys.
“Recent Census Bureau findings show that millennials are flocking to big-city suburbs and lower-density cities,” said Paula Pant in her blog post. I think that’s an interesting trend that Millennials are moving to cities with less density, but not necessarily far out suburbs. They like the single family home but want city-level amenities.
And you know, San Antonio is a good example of that. I visited just last week with my family and what struck me the most was all the bicycle traffic. We stayed near the Riverwalk, which supplies San Antonio a practically year-round supply of foot traffic through their downtown. In San Antonio, CityBike stations actually get used. It was really amazing. Having a cool river run through the city doesn’t hurt, either.
When I visited downtown Houston last month, well, it wasn’t nearly as active as Houston’s Heights neighborhood, or Rice Village — less dense urban areas where the single-family home reigns king. Dallas, of course, is growing much more of a vertical city, as we emphasize population growth inside sought after neighborhoods within the downtown core. On the flipside, builders are seeing inner-loop neighborhoods as a good investment for new home developments. I think it’s that kind of balance that will bring long-term, healthy growth.
What do you think about more Millennials moving to less-dense cities?