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Future depends on millennials

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  • | 10:00 a.m. February 6, 2015
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Baby boomers are credited with trending real estate into the suburbs, but now it's millennials making the push back to urban cores.

Florida is not immune to the urbanization trend, especially in the Tampa/St. Petersburg market, where people ages 20 to 35 already make up nearly 19% of the population, with an expected growth of more than 10% over the next five years.

Those data were part of report presented by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers during a conference at Tampa Theatre last week.

Urban population growth in Tampa/St. Pete over the last three years was more than 5%, putting the area behind only Fort Myers/Naples and Orlando in Florida. That growth can be seen with the rise of multifamily in areas like Tampa's Channel District and downtown St. Petersburg, areas that just a decade ago were nearly completely devoid of residential life.

But whether millennial growth will keep the focus on urban property is up for debate, ULI says. Some observers feel that as these millennials start families, they'll be attracted to the more spacious suburbs. Yet others believe that millennials will become so accustomed to urban-living amenities, they'll prefer to adjust their lifestyles to smaller spaces rather than move out of downtowns.

The real estate market is improving, but ULI is not yet ready to give Florida the green light yet. Of the eight markets studied in the state, only Miami earned real estate prospects of “generally good,” ranking it 19th in the country. Tampa/St. Petersburg joined the rest of the state's markets with a fair outlook, earning a national rank of 35th among the 75 tracked.

Texas remains a real estate hot spot, boasting the three of the top five markets -- Houston (1), Austin (2) and Dallas/Fort Worth (5) — while Rhode Island and Upstate New York found themselves at the bottom with Providence (74) and Buffalo (75) the only two markets with generally poor real estate prospects.


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