Like Dr. Fader, who lives in Bryn Mawr, west of Philadelphia, most of these new high-end buyers are coming from the suburbs, developers say. This is a group that loves its mansions and large homes but is finally, not so reluctantly, trading them in for high-end city adventure.
“Things just lined up in the last few years,” said Patrick L. Phillips, the global chief executive of the Urban Land Institute, a research organization in Washington. “The peak of the baby boom is right around 60 and these wealthy folks have a lot of embedded equity in their homes. They have the wherewithal to move into something with space in the city.”
And cities have prepared for people with money, at least in their downtowns, Mr. Phillips said. They have concentrated theaters, arenas, upscale shopping and refurbished or new parks and museums there.
Two questions come to mind:
- Just how many people are doing this? How many people could afford such a move? The key here is that these people are already living in expensive suburbs and have all sorts of housing options.
- What happens to other parts of the city where there is less money to be made for developers and builders? Cities like to trumpet new buildings in their downtowns and the growth of cultural and entertainment options. But, these are not necessarily available to everyone.