Suburbs See Boom in Townhouses and Condos as Starter Homes Decline

Those searching for starter homes are finding that the suburban market is moving away from single family houses to townhouses, multi-units, and condos.


Millennials who are looking to buy their first home are finding out to their surprise that the suburbs are largely moved away from starter homes in the direction of townhouses and condos, writes Caitlin McCabe for

Some estimates show that across the country, starter home inventory is down by over 40 percent over the last five years. In the Philadelphia metro area, according to Trulia real estate search engine, only around 30 percent of available properties are starter homes, or around 2,200 houses.

Most of the reasons for this drop are credited to post recession factors, including tighter lending and more risk aversion from builders. They have turned to building multi-family units, townhouses, and condos.

Toll Brothers are building new townhouse units in Upper Merion as well as in Media in Delaware County. While in Upper Merion, the builder’s Village at Valley Forge townhouses join other attached and multifamily units currently under construction near King of Prussia.

“You are starting to see builders build with more density in communities,” explained Robert Dietz, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders adding that “townhome starts have been outpacing the overall single-family market.”

Read more about the changing suburban landscape at by clicking here.

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