Select Page

Hipsturbia was first written about by the New York Times in 2013. Then, millennials and others left Brooklyn and Manhattan in droves, headed for locations with more of a “suburban” feel. This real estate phenomenon has only increased in recent years. Millennials and post-millennials are, according to Karen Harris of Bain Marco Trends, “moving out to the ‘burbs” along with the Boomers.

There are several drivers behind the “hipsturbianizing” of America. First, millennials aren’t overly enthused about city living today. At one time, young professionals lived in major downtown areas because that’s where their careers were based. They tolerated narrow streets, cramped apartment buildings, and noise pollution…all for the sake of their careers.

Today, young professionals prefer suburbs with a downtown vibe, but with less noise pollution and fewer space limitations.

Hipsturbia and the Live-Work-Play Concept

In all, the hi-tech communication systems developed for the gig economy have become vibrant ecosystems of data, people, and products. Drones are already delivering packages to front doorsteps. Meanwhile, Uber, Ztrip, Lyft, and Curb have completely revolutionized suburban-to-downtown travel.

At the head of the hipsturbian trend are self-drive or autonomous cars, which make commuting easier and less stressful. At present, most self-drive cars like Tesla and Audi operate at a Level-3 functionality. At Level 0, we have “no automation functionality,” while at Level 5, we have “complete automation functionality.”

At Level 3, drivers need not navigate the vehicle when all conditions for automated driving systems (ADS) have been met. However, the driver must be prepared to take control when situations require it. In 2121, both Volvo and Ford will release self-driving cars with Level-4 functionality.

This is the future, and brick-and-mortar businesses are responding. Put another way, “hipsturbians” want more power and control over their lives, and businesses are taking note.

“Hipsturbians” also prize the pleasures of open, spacious environments coupled with the conveniences of downtown living. They want greater affordability, well-paid jobs, all-night coffee bars as well as high-quality shopping, dining, entertainment, and education opportunities. Knowing this, San Diego developers have revived downtown areas using this formula of the 24-hour downtown.

The Urban Land Institute report, Emerging Urban Trends in Real Estate, explains the rise of hipsturbia in cities like San Diego, Chicago, and New York City for those of my readers who’d like to explore the topic further.

Where is Hipsturbia Most Popular?

As you would expect, this trend largely dominates in major city centers. Cities like Los Angeles, New York, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Seattle, Atlanta, and Tampa/St. Pete have led the way in the hipsturbia real estate trend.

Meanwhile, high-cost California cities such as San Francisco, Santa Clara, and San Jose have also shown interest in partnering with suburban centers to deliver the benefits of hipsturbia to millennials.

That said, suburbs with promising job opportunities and strong telecommuting links are growing twice as quickly as the cities surrounding them, according to The Wall Street Journal. For their part, Sacramento and San Diego are quickly picking up on the hipsturbia trend.

More people wanting to live in these areas will surely result in an influx of commercial and residential investment. This, in turn, will add to the attractiveness of the suburbs and a corresponding increase in real estate values, financial security, and wealth accumulation.

North San Diego County Association of Realtors (NSDCAR)

A recent NSDCAR report maintains that the San Diego housing market is getting a boost from our strong economy. Employment figures are better than they’ve ever been, with unemployment for the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos metro area down to 2.8% while the population continues to rise.

A rising population typically leads to increasing demand for homes. First Tuesday Journal (FTJ) says these numbers will create a San Diego housing boom in 2022 – 2023.

San Diego’s Hipsturbia Market

San Diego offers homeowners and investors so much within the parameters of the “live-work-play” lifestyle. The FTJ report emphasizes how attractive San Diego’s hipsturbia suburbs are and will continue to be.

In this post, we won’t be able to provide details for every San Diego suburb, but we can take a quick whistle-stop tour of the top five. In 2018, Patch.com listed what it considered the best San Diego suburbs. It based its assessment on six criteria: population density, median income, percentage of college-educated residents, home values, unemployment, and low poverty levels. The top five “hipsturbias” were:

  1. Solana Beach: small-town atmosphere with parks, bars, restaurants, and coffee shops.
  2. Coronado: much sought-after location, with everything from cottages to mansions, ocean views, and cycling trails.
  3. Del Mar: a natural playground with an ocean-front village atmosphere.
  4. Encinitas: a mix of old-world charm and excellent modern conveniences.
  5. Poway: a vibrant community offering retail, education, and recreation opportunities for all ages.

Yes, Hipsturbia is for Everyone

San Diego’s suburbs offer an inclusive atmosphere for everyone — millennials, Gen Xers, Boomers, as well as their kids and grandkids. Right now, we’re not just looking at a stable housing market but also one that’s expected to experience a boom. In fact, San Diego’s suburbs are where real estate and residents meet on the corner of value, interests, and modernity.

If you’d like to discuss our amazing hipsturbian homeownership or investment opportunities, click here to get in touch. Type in your questions, and I’ll respond with answers.