Energy Prices Hammer Suburban Housing Market

Reversing trend, buyers look to stay near city center
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2008 8:17 AM CDT
A carpenter works on a new house in a Little Rock, Ark. subdivision Tuesday, June 17, 2008. The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that the number of new housing projects started in May fell by 3.3...   (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
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(Newser) – The soaring cost of energy has started the buck the half-century-old trend of migration to suburbs and exurbs, the New York Times reports. The cost of reaching a far-off home, let alone heating and cooling it, is becoming untenable for many. From Atlanta and Philadelphia to San Francisco and Minneapolis, prices of homes outside the urban core have fallen faster than those downtown.

The trend threatens to exacerbate the housing crisis as more than 3 in 4 buyers say they want to live close to an urban center. "Typically, Americans have felt the periphery was most desirable, and now there’s going to be a reversion to the center," said one economist.