Pandemic alters American dream for aspiring homeowners  


At 59%, most Americans still aspire to be homeowners, a sign of the lingering allure of the post-World War II vision often called the American dream. But in 2021, it turns out that instead of one alluring dream of a better kind of life with a house and a yard, Americans now have four of them, according to Business Insider

The new versions of the American dream include finding a home in exclusive suburbs outside of city centers where a housing shortage has bloomed and bidding wars cause intense competition for properties. Those boxed out of the suburbs, and now free from commutes due to remote work, are searching for more affordable housing in farther out exurbs. In May through June, 40,000 Americans exited cities and suburbs for the exurbs. While pandemic population shifts have been waning, exurbs and rural areas were the only regions to add households in those months. 

The third iteration of the classic dream seems difficult to believe, given the number of people moving out of the city. But Bank of America Research and Zillow both report that, of people who moved during the pandemic, 19% moved within their metro area, and nearly 40% stayed in the city but switched neighborhoods. 

Lastly, alternative lifestyles that flourished during the past decade, like living in vans and tiny, boomed over the past year and half. Makers of camper vans, RVs, and travel trailers have been updating on existing builds or creating new floor plans to accommodate the growing market. Read the full story.