Big-city feel

This Houston neighbor named one of America's 5 best under-the-radar 'burbs

Houston neighbor named one of America's 5 best under-the-radar 'burbs

Armand Bayou Pasadena canoe
Spots such as Armand Bayou have made Pasadena attractive to buyers.  Armand Bayou/Facebook

A new ranking from real estate platform Zillow and review platform Yelp could trigger an influx of new residents into Pasadena.

The ranking, released October 7, puts Pasadena at No. 5 among the country’s top 10 under-the-radar suburbs, based on housing affordability coupled with urban amenities. It’s the only Texas suburb to make the list.

In placing Pasadena in their Cityness Index, Zillow and Yelp cite the suburb’s typical home value of $168,080, which they say is 14 percent below that of Houston. They also hail local businesses Sycamore Grounds and Credeur’s Cajun Cookin’, along with the Armand Bayou Nature Center.

To develop the list, Zillow and Yelp combed through data for suburbs in the country’s 50 largest metro areas. At No. 1 on the list is Waterbury, Connecticut, followed by Lowell, Massachusetts; Joliet, Illinois; Sunrise, Florida; and Pasadena, which is home to more than 150,000 people.

Zillow and Yelp zeroed in on relatively affordable areas near major metros that offer big-city amenities. Key metrics included home values compared with the nearest big cities and the country at large, housing availability, mix and diversity of businesses, and consumer reviews and check-ins. 

“For city dwellers who don’t want to sacrifice great amenities like restaurants, art galleries, and nightlife, but are dreaming of a little more space and a more affordable lifestyle, these suburbs offer a similar variety of great local businesses,” Yelp trend expert Tara Lewis says in a release about the ranking.

Pasadena scored 60.5 on the Cityness Index, compared with 67.6 for first-place Waterbury.

“We are seeing extremely strong housing demand due to low interest rates, and more and more millennials and Gen Zers reaching prime home-buying age,” Zillow senior economist Cheryl Young says. “This demand is also driving up prices and depleting inventory. Young people looking to buy and find space for their expanding families can bid farewell to big-city premiums without giving up the feel of a city in amenity-rich suburbs.”