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Since the pandemic hit, buyers have started flocking to the suburbs. But while more space and privacy is what today’s purchasers are craving, they also want balance, according to a new Cityness Index report by Zillow® and Yelp Inc.

The Cityness Index combines data from both Zillow and Yelp to help identify areas near major metros that are affordable and provide suburb amenities with the feel of big-city living. The key metrics used include home values compared to the nearest big cities, housing availability, business diversity and consumer reviews, among others.

Waterbury, Conn., topped the list due its housing affordability ranking—homes are typically 29 percent less expensive than the typical home in New Haven, Conn., and 46 percent less expensive than the typical U.S. home. This beat out Lowel, Mass., which came in second place for having home values that are about half of what you could expect to pay in Boston Proper, as well as having “plentiful options.” The following metros ranked in the top five as well: Joliet, Ill., Sunrise, Fla., and Pasadena, Texas.

Here are the top 10 affordable suburbs with a city feel:

1. Waterbury, Conn.
Typical home value: $139,304
Cityness Index Score: 67.6

2. Lowell, Mass.
Typical home value: $323,576
Cityness Index Score: 64.7

3. Joliet, Ill.
Typical home value: $155,018
Cityness Index Score: 63.8

4. Sunrise, Fla.
Typical home value: $243,078
Cityness Index Score: 60.7

5. Pasadena, Texas
Typical home value: $168,080
Cityness Index Score: 60.5

6. Lancaster, Calif.
Typical home value: $320,494
Cityness Index Score: 59.3

7. Hampton, Va.
Typical home value: $188,373
Cityness Index Score: 58.6

8. Marietta, Ga.
Typical home value: $318,06
Cityness Index Score: 58.4

9. Norman, Okla.
Typical home value: $180,833
Cityness Index Score: 58.2

10. Tempe, Ariz.
Typical home value: $338,052
Cityness Index Score: 57.9

“At Yelp, we’re seeing consumer interest and requests for quotes in categories like movers, packing services and mortgage lenders increase in major metro areas, compared to the same time period last year,” says Tara Lewis, Yelp trend expert. “For city dwellers who don’t want to sacrifice great amenities like restaurants, art galleries and nightlife, but are dreaming of a little more space and a more affordable lifestyle, these suburbs offer a similar variety of great local businesses.”

“We are seeing extremely strong housing demand due to low interest rates and more and more millennials and Gen Zers reaching prime home buying age,” says Zillow senior economist Cheryl Young. “This demand is also driving up prices and depleting inventory. Young people looking to buy and find space for their expanding families can bid farewell to big city premiums without giving up the feel of a city in amenity-rich suburbs.”

For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.

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