Each Friday, Robbie Briggs, CEO of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, writes about luxury, trends, business and more in the advertising pages of the Mansion section of The Wall Street Journal. Below is his letter of March 4, 2022.
FROM MY PERSPECTIVE
We are in very good company.
In a story in the new Luxury Outlook — the trend-packed annual report from Sotheby’s International Realty — the Dallas suburbs of University Park and Highland Park are talked about by the experts, right alongside Greenwich, Connecticut, the prosperous North Shore towns outside Chicago and the affluent areas of Westchester County, New York, including Scarsdale.
Yes, those are some of the most famous suburbs in America — known for their sophistication, convenience and ambience — and they are thriving, poised for even greater real estate growth because of their enduring appeal.
I’m going to give you some key takeaways from the story, which you can read — along with all the other thought-provoking pieces — at briggsfreeman.com/market-moves.
Sales in the suburbs are up, thanks most recently to the desire for bigger homes and more grounds to roam because of the pandemic. And, buyers are looking at functionality more than ever. When they’re considering three versus four bedrooms, or four versus five, they now see that extra bedroom as an office or classroom.
But, the appeal of a great suburb has always been its proximity to the city, the strength of its community and the strength of its schools. There is a real hometown feel to America’s most desirable suburbs, the story explains, and ours have that in spades.
So, what other suburbs are hot? In Connecticut: Darien, New Canaan, Westport and Fairfield. In New Jersey: Montclair, Summit and Ridgewood. In New York: Bronxville, Rye and what are known as the Rivertowns along the Hudson River.
The story saves the best for last: Besides the Park Cities, it singles out Plano, Frisco, Southlake, Westlake and Preston Hollow. (I would add Fort Worth’s great Westover Hills, Montserrat and Tanglewood.) Surprising? Not at all. These places have all the ingredients that the story says are essential for successful suburbs: great amenities; proximity to the city; a strong sense of place; strong, established schools; even tree-lined streets.
Move over, Greenwich and Scarsdale: We’re gaining on you.