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Why The Suburbs Will Never be the Same

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The way we live is rapidly shifting and what we call suburbs today will be completely different in a few years. USC Lusk Center for Real Estate director Richard Green says suburbia isn't dying, but he did get some insight from local real estate execs on how it's changing.

Richard (far right, snapped here at a recent Real Estate 2030 panel at the Hyatt Regency) says the Bay Area has the most dynamic economy in the world right now (he said the same in Shanghai 18 months ago and no one argued), yet only 45% of adults have college degrees. TMG Partners CIO Matt Field says the education gap is a huge deal in this area, as the Hipsters are going to grow up and have kids and want to transition out of the city.

But what will be outside of the city is changing. KB Home Northern California president Chris Apostolopoulos says when he left college, the normal progression was living in the Marina. But with rents approaching $6/SF and land constraints limiting new development, it's going to be increasingly harder to find affordable space. He says what we are going to call "suburbs" will change over time into being urban communities with mid-rises, not skyscrapers. In S.F., LA, NY and Boston, commutes are getting unbearable, so he expects suburbs will become walkable cities in and of themselves.