As gas prices rise, Americans move back to the urbs
For decades, Americans have trickled steadily out of cities into suburbia — and then into exurbia. But with gas prices high and likely to stay there, the wallet-conscious are now poised to trickle back in. In 2003, the average suburban household spent $1,422 on gasoline annually; in April 2008, that had leaped to $3,196 per year. “Before it was ‘we spend too much time driving,'” says Phil Boyle, who commutes nearly an hour into Denver, Colo. “Now, it’s ‘we spend too much time and money driving.'” A recent survey of 903 real estate agents found that 78 percent of prospective home buyers cited fuel costs for their inclination toward city living. Though sprawl has become as American as a flag lapel pin, experts say the trend to move inward has the potential to revamp the look of the U.S. city.