The Downtown Comeback: 7 to Watch

Yuqing Pan  |   March 20, 2017

The downtown resurgence is reaching across the country. In the post-World War II era, Americans fled urban areas in favor of the suburbs. That left many downtowns to face some neglect, rising crime, and industrial decay, realtor.com® notes in a recent article. But it’s a new day for the American downtown. Redevelopment since the mid-1990s are putting more downtowns back on the map. Vacant office buildings are being transformed into loft apartments and empty storefronts are becoming trendy cafes. More major companies are moving their headquarters back to downtowns too. All of this combined, property values are getting a boost. “People, young ones especially, love historical buildings that reintroduce them to the past,” says Dan Cort, author of the book Downtown Turnaround. “They want to live where they can walk out of the house, work out, go to a café, and still walk to work.” Realtor.com®’s research team delved into the data of the nation’s 200 largest cities to find the downtowns that are seeing the most growth lately. They considered such factors as residential population growth of downtowns since 2012; the number and growth of restaurants and retailers; vacancy rates; number and growth in jobs; and home price appreciation since 2012. The following cities made realtor.com®’s top seven (listed along with the median home prices in each downtown as well as home price growth): 1. Pittsburgh Median home price in downtown: $353,000 Home price growth since 2012: 31% 2. Indianapolis Median home price in downtown: $309,400 Home price growth since 2012: 20% 3. Oakland, Calif. Median home price in downtown: $688,000 Home price growth since 2012: 111% 4. Detroit Median home price in downtown: $219,900 Home price growth since 2012: 150% 5. Columbus, Ohio Median home price in downtown: $272,000 Home price growth since 2012: 20% 6. Austin, Texas Median home price in downtown: $395,500 Home price growth since 2012: 6% 7. Los Angeles Median home price in downtown: $617,500 Home price growth since 2012: 63%

Source: Realtor.com