Living in a metro-area during a virus pandemic, economic collapse, social unrest, and soaring violent crime can be stressful. As a result, hundreds of thousands of city dwellers have packed up their bags and fled to the suburbs over the last nine months.
A new survey from Realtor.com reveals an increasing number of city dwellers have been searching for suburban homes.
"These areas just outside of the urban centers of the largest metros, offer homebuyers more space for the money. Potential buyers who've been dreaming of more space for work and play don't have to look far to save 29% per square foot on average or get 25%-65% more square footage for the same price as a home closer to downtown," said realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. "For a 2,000-square-foot home, this could mean 500-1,300 additional square feet."
Realtor.com did all the hard work. They identified the most affordable suburbs located within 25 miles of the nation's top largest metros:
1) Sicklerville, N.J.
Urban Metro: Philadelphia
Median Listing Price: $282,000
Savings Per Square Foot: 20% (Suburb: $118 / Urban: $148)
Median Income: $89,300
A 30-minute drive southeast of Philadelphia, Sicklerville is a community located within Winslow Township in Camden County, N.J. With a population of 53,099 and 10 constituent neighborhoods, Sicklerville is the 22nd largest community in New Jersey. Sicklerville offers easy access to the outdoors with the New Brooklyn County Park for playing sports and canoeing, and the Winslow Fish and Wildlife Management Area for fishing, hunting and bird watching.
2) Cedar Hill, Texas
Urban Metro: Dallas
Median Listing Price: $352,000
Savings Per Square Foot: 23% (Suburb: $124 / Urban: $161)
Median Income: $76,600
Located within Dallas, Cedar Hill is "the city in a park," and has become a destination for nature enthusiasts, hikers, cyclists, mountain bikers, boaters, campers and adventure competitors. Cedar Hill offers extensive shopping, and a variety of diverse dining options for its 48,463 residents. On average, there are 229 days of sunshine per year in which to enjoy the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center or Cedar Hill State Park on Joe Pool Lake. The area boasts a strong school system, including Cedar Hill Collegiate Academy (GreatSchools rating 9/10).
3) Palos Hills, Ill.
Urban Metro: Chicago
Median Listing Price: $379,000
Savings Per Square Foot: 24% (Suburb: $139 / Urban: $184)
Median Income: $65,700
Palos Hills is a southwest suburb of Chicago, offering a dense suburban feel with most of its 17,195 residents owning their homes. An array of restaurants, coffee shops and parks -- including Bennett Park, where they offer outdoor movies and fishing -- make this town a draw for young professionals and retirees. The area is also home to many young families due to its top-rated school system, which includes Oak Ridge Elementary School (GreatSchools rating 10/10).
4) Marietta, Ga.
Urban Metro: Atlanta
Median Listing Price: $440,000
Savings Per Square Foot: 21% (Suburb: $143 / Urban: $181)
Median Income: $96,500
A 25-minute drive to Atlanta, Marietta is one of Georgia's most populous cities, with a population of 67,000. The city offers an historic downtown, shops and restaurants, and Glover Park is home to outdoor festivals, concerts, weddings and special events. Marietta Square hosts art strolls, parades and farmers markets. The area boasts a desirable school system which includes Lassiter High School (GreatSchools rating 10/10).
5) Jersey Village, Texas
Urban Metro: Houston
Median Listing Price: $447,000
Savings Per Square Foot: 36% (Suburb: $126 / Urban: $198)
Median Income: $85,400
A suburb of Houston, Jersey Village is located in west-central Harris County, and has a population of 7,620. The area abounds with parks, golf courses, community events, farmers markets and recreational pools. It is also nearby to Traders Village Houston, home of the largest flea market in Texas.
6) Hanover, Mass.
Urban Metro: Boston
Median Listing Price: $670,000
Savings Per Square Foot: 34% (Suburb: $231 / Urban: $350)
Median Income: $129,100
While Hanover is a 30-minute drive to Boston, the town's 14,000 residents maintain a "country town" atmosphere. Hanover offers shopping malls, parks, trails and sports fields. Ponds, streams and rivers, which join the historic North River as it flows to the Atlantic Ocean, provide both summer and winter recreational opportunities such as fishing and canoeing. Hanover has highly-rated schools, including So Shore Vocational Technical High School (GreatSchools rating 7/10).
7) Pine Island Ridge-Plantation, Fla.
Urban Metro: Miami
Median Listing Price: $679,000
Savings Per Square Foot: 34% (Suburb: $224 / Urban: $341)
Median Income: $75,000
Pine Island Ridge is a 35-minute drive to Miami, and has a population of 5,199, with the average age of a homeowner being 55 years old. Recreational activities on offer include an aquatic center, parks, programs/camps and special events. Also, you can hike beautiful trails and explore tree tops at the Pine Island Ridge Natural Area and the Pine Island Ridge Trail.
8) Clark, N.J.
Urban Metro: New York City
Median Listing Price: $798,000
Savings Per Square Foot: 34% (Suburb: $242 / Urban: $366)
Median Income: $111,400
Clark is a township in southern Union County, N.J., with a population of 15,943. The community honors historic moments with the Dr. William Robinson Plantation Museum and 9/11 Memorial. Clark's abundance of parks offers recreational activities like fishing, trails and fields for playing sports. Clark has highly-rated schools, including Arthur L Johnson High School (GreatSchools rating 7/10).
9) Ashton-Sandy Spring, Md.
Urban Metro: Washington, D.C.
Median Listing Price: $844,000
Savings Per Square Foot: 39% (Suburb: $178 / Urban: $294)
Median Income: $153,300
Made up of two neighborhoods -- Ashton and Sandy Spring -- this community is located in Montgomery County, with a population of 5,628. The town is home to the Sandy Spring Museum and Sandy Spring Slave Museum, which both provide social and cultural activities like concerts, workshops and events. The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring offers residents ziplining, rope rigs and wooden bridges to explore.
10) Fullerton, Calif.
Urban Metro: Los Angeles
Median Listing Price: $1,155,000
Savings Per Square Foot: 27% (Suburb: $418 / Urban: $570)
Median Income: $109,900
Located in northern Orange County, Fullerton is a 30-minute drive to Los Angeles and has a population of 139,640. It is home to a vibrant music scene, and has a small but diverse theater community, including The Muckenthaler Cultural Center which houses art galleries and a theater group, and The Fullerton Museum Center has educational programs on offider. Fullerton maintains more than 50 city parks, including Hillcrest Park, Chapman Park and the Orange County Regional parks. The area boasts a desirable school system, which includes Troy High School (GreatSchools rating 10/10).
As we've previously noted, the urban-exodus may last for the "next 18 to 24 months."