More Millennials Opt For San Antonio And Houston Over Dallas, Trulia Says in New Survey

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Downtown San Antonio’s Dolorosa Bridge as seen from the Riverwalk

I have a few friends that moved to San Antonio after college. One of them is an architect and the other was a medical student. Both were initially bummed about moving to the Alamo City. It was so different from Houston and Austin and Dallas. They weren’t sure they would like it. They didn’t know a lot of people there.

I now see them post cool photos of cycling trips, historic buildings, trips to local watering holes and parks … they either learned to love San Antonio, or they busted their bottom to build the momentum the city needed to be a cool place. And you know what? More and more Millennials are doing the same thing, opting for San Antonio and Houston over Dallas and Austin according to Trulia’s dissection of U.S. Census Bureau surveys.

“Recent Census Bureau findings show that millennials are flocking to big-city suburbs and lower-density cities,” said Paula Pant in her blog post. I think that’s an interesting trend that Millennials are moving to cities with less density, but not necessarily far out suburbs. They like the single family home but want city-level amenities.

And you know, San Antonio is a good example of that. I visited just last week with my family and what struck me the most was all the bicycle traffic. We stayed near the Riverwalk, which supplies San Antonio a practically year-round supply of foot traffic through their downtown. In San Antonio, CityBike stations actually get used. It was really amazing. Having a cool river run through the city doesn’t hurt, either.

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When I visited downtown Houston last month, well, it wasn’t nearly as active as Houston’s Heights neighborhood, or Rice Village — less dense urban areas where the single-family home reigns king. Dallas, of course, is growing much more of a vertical city, as we emphasize population growth inside sought after neighborhoods within the downtown core. On the flipside, builders are seeing inner-loop neighborhoods as a good investment for new home developments. I think it’s that kind of balance that will bring long-term, healthy growth.

What do you think about more Millennials moving to less-dense cities?

5 Comment

  • What is interesting is that at one time the incredible resource that is the San Antonio River was
    about to be covered in concrete by SA developers.

    A group of the enlightened women leaders in San Antonio vigorously protested and as a result, there is a true focal point in downtown San Antonio.

  • mm

    I don’t understand why we cannot make a Riverwalk out of the Trinity. Instead, there is that dumb idea for a tollroad. A Riverwalk would also have development potential.

  • San Antonio’s river walks make it a very special city. I put it in the same class as San Fransisco, New Orleans or Paris, due to it’s uniqueness. If you have never been there, or haven’t been there in several years, go see what I mean.

  • I’ve seen San Antonio change so much over the years. Having graduated from high school there I couldn’t leave fast enough! Now however I love the city and try to get back at least twice a year. There seems to be a slower pace and just a more relaxed atmosphere. The RiverWalk has been extended and you can now stay in a quite hotel further up the river and not hear a single Mariachi! Instead you take a leisurely boat ride and see joggers, parents with babies out for a stroll, people walking their dogs, all along a peaceful stretch of what is has become a neighborhood area of the river. Things have gotten very hip, loads of cool bars, restaurants, boutiques and wonderful eclectic places to find art. They seem to have kept up with road construction as well. Traffic can be bad but nothing like Houston, Austin or Dallas. It’s one of the best places in Texas to invest in real estate. Prices are very affordable and I think that’s a big draw for millennials.