Young people moving to NoVa suburbs, study concludes

Fairfax County and the greater Washington-Baltimore region have maintained higher rates of home mobility compared to the rest of the nation, a recent study concluded.

The mobility rate is determined by the percentage of the population that changes residences every year.

The mobility rate is determined by the percentage of the population that changes residences every year.

The study, conducted by RealEstate Business Intelligence and George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis, determined that between 2008 and 2010, 14.2 percent of the population moved each year, two percentage points above the national average.

“The vast majority of residential mobility in the Washington-Baltimore takes place as a result of suburb-to-suburb moves,” read the study, “and this pattern will continue in the near-term.”

According to the study, over a third of new or existing residents, relocated within Northern Virginia.

“Households continue to show a preference for suburban neighborhoods, and rents and prices are lower in the region’s suburbs compared with its central cities (particularly the District of Columbia),” read the study.

Additionally, a majority of those movers show distinct demographic characteristics. Among all movers under 30, 76.1 percent are living in the suburbs, 85.8 percent of which are renting.

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According to the 2008-2010 American Community Survey, a majority of young people who moved to the suburbs are renting.

“…National surveys of this population suggest that as they age, most [people under 30] think they will own a home and many want to live in the suburbs,” read the study.

The authors of the study say that this may provide evidence against the idea that young people have different preferences than older generations, by desire urban environments as opposed to suburban communities.

“While the cities will continue to draw young people from within and outside the region, most of the moving, home buying and renting will take place in the region’s suburbs in the years to come,” read the study. “Furthermore, residential construction is ramping up, and new suburban developments will include more townhouse and multifamily housing which gives households more options in the suburbs.”