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What Makes People Relocate to Urban Areas?

By Mike in Urban Living with 0 Comments

There was a time when Americans preferred to put some distance between their homes and urban centers. This was a phenomenon that started with mass production of passenger vehicles, and it was dramatically expanded after World War II, when veterans were offered the opportunity to live in planned suburban developments. In the early 21st century, suburban sprawl grew at a very fast pace because of residential construction and the housing boom. When the real estate market crashed in 2008, socioeconomic conditions changed as people returned to urban centers for various reasons.

Americans are rediscovering their cities, which has resulted in a rise in urban planning and development. When looking at housing markets such as downtown San Diego, it’s easy to see why people would want to move to well-developed city centers.


Before the Industrial Revolution began in the 18th century, most people lived in rural areas because that’s where they were able to find jobs related to the agricultural sector. Industrial manufacturing processes and advanced methods of transportation were established in urban centers, and this is where people moved to get jobs and earn better salaries. According to a November 2019 labor market report, the unemployment rate in San Diego was just 2.9 percent, lower than the state and national averages, and median salaries are also higher.

Shifting Housing Market Conditions

Moving to the suburbs used to be a sound financial decision. Developers of tract housing communities were able to cut costs and offer properties at lower prices, thus attracting more buyers. In many housing markets around the country, this situation has reversed. Real estate prices in suburban areas of San Diego have skyrocketed after plunging in 2008, which means you can often find properties such as downtown San Diego condos for sale that are more affordable than homes in the gated communities beyond the city center.

Quality of Life

While the primary decision to relocate is often related to economic opportunities, the final decision always comes down to quality of life. During the Great Recession of 2007–2008, many individuals moved to the Dakotas looking for employment in the shale oil industry, but few of them brought their families along because they didn’t feel it was a good place to live, at least not at the time because residential communities hadn’t yet developed. San Diego and its downtown districts offer substantial quality of life thanks to careful urban planning, prosperity, and community involvement.

Ease of Transportation

The car culture famously associated with Southern California is giving way to new attitudes toward owning cars. Members of the Millennial generation certainly like automotive technology, but they’re not crazy about owning cars and getting stuck on the freeways during rush hour. They’re more inclined to walking, using public transportation, and tapping their smartphones to order Uber rides. In downtown San Diego, many districts have turned pedestrian, and public transportation options have improved substantially in recent years.

No matter what has attracted you to urban living, you’ll find a spot in downtown San Diego that’s perfect for you. If you need help finding real estate in downtown San Diego you’ll want to call home, reach out to the experts at 92101 Urban Living. Give us a call today at 619-649-0368.