Suburban Households: New Opportunities

February 2021

Suburban markets are expanding around hyperurban hubs across the world, creating new consumer markets for companies and marketers. With the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19), even temporarily, consumers are re-evaluating their housing needs. This report examines the growth drivers behind suburban living, such as affordability and new working conditions, as well as looking at the growing opportunities in these areas

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Key findings

Suburbs expanding

Major markets such as Canada, the US and Russia already have large suburban populations that are continuing to expand around metropolitan areas, while the growing number of megacities (especially in Asia) is creating huge suburban sprawl. In the US, both New York and Los Angeles will add an additional one million people each to their suburban populations over the 2014-2040 period.

Affordability and ecology as growth drivers

Rising real estate prices, pollution and demand for greener and more spacious areas are the primary drivers behind growth in suburban areas, although secondary factors such as improved transportation links and better technologies also play a role.

The COVID-19 impact

The COVID-19 impact has accelerated the pro-suburban trend, with the “death of the city” taking hold across multiple regions. The rise in remote working opportunities and consumers in general re-evaluating their lifestyles has driven demand for out-of-city accommodation.

Suburbs home to lucrative family units

Couple-with-children households typically prefer suburban areas to inhabit. Through to 2040, couple-with-children households will have the highest annual per household expenditure level in every region compared to all other household types. This presents a lucrative segment for goods and services.

Opportunities in tech, retail, real estate and mobility

Limited suburban access to urban amenities and shopping experiences are expanding opportunities for companies in home technologies and both offline and online retail. Rising demand for suburban units is driving business for real estate developers, while suburban-specific demands are impacting mobility trends.


Key findings
Urban expansion creating suburban sprawls
Suburban Growth Drivers
90% of cities to see an economic contraction in 2020
Key urban sectors and industries impacted by COVID-19
Pro-suburban consumer values
Growth of suburbs offers new opportunities for business
Challenges of suburban growth

Suburban Growth Drivers

Suburbs globally continue to grow and expand
New York’s Manhattan records over 13,000 vacant apartments
Megacities propel suburban sprawls
Housing costs push residents to more affordable suburbs
Shift in UK offices: Companies move to suburbs
Urban property prices slump, as suburbs become more attractive
Desire for better ecology

Suburban Opportunities

Lucrative family consumption hubs
Offline retail is yet to penetrate lucrative suburbs
Wollert Neighbourhood Centre: An Australian shopping experience
Suburban “cocooning” offers opportunities for home leisure
Mirror: Fitness start-up reimagines living room spaces
Health-orientated baby boomers to embrace suburban lifestyles
Boomburbs and exurbs expanding real estate prospects
Pik: Russia’s mega developer that is redefining the suburbs
Suburban growth impacting mobility trends
Wallbox: Smart charging stations for the home


Long-term urban expansion to fuel suburban growth
Opportunities in mobility, retail, real estate and tech
The COVID-19 factor: Suburbs to grow in demand


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