The redevelopment of urban centers has continued to outpace new residential development in suburban and exurban areas, according to the study.
"Though the nation's urban centers emptied for decades as suburbs sprawled outward, developers in many large cities are increasingly looking inward for building opportunities, according to the study (pdf), titled "Residential Construction Trends in America's Metropolitan Regions." In 26 of the nation's 50 largest metropolitan areas, the share of residential construction taking place in central cities more than doubled since 2000.
As expected, the effect was strongest in the metropolitan areas with the strictest regional land-use policies, such as Portland, Ore. But many metropolitan areas known for sprawl, including Chicago and Los Angeles, saw similar increases in redevelopment at the urban core."