A Town’s Walkability Becomes More Key
You may want to highlight the walkability of a neighborhood and area, particularly when you’re working with first-time buyers and young adult clients. Millennials are showing a strong preference to walking over driving, and by substantially wider margins than any other generation, according to a new poll of 3,000 adults living in the 50 largest metro areas conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® and the Transportation Research and Education Center at Portland State University.
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Millennials, those aged 18 to 34, prefer walking as a mode of transportation by 12 percentage points over driving. They also prefer living in attached housing, living within walking distance of shops and restaurants, and having a short commute, according to the 2015 National Community and Transportation Preference Survey. They’re also more likely than other age groups to use public transportation.
“REALTORS® don’t only sell homes; they sell neighborhoods and communities,” says NAR President Chris Polychron. “REALTORS® aid in improving and revitalizing neighborhoods with smart growth initiatives, helping create walkable, urban centers, which is what more Americans want in their neighborhoods. While there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all community, more and more home buyers are expressing interest in living in mixed-used, transit-accessible communities.”
The survey found that all age groups are showing a stronger preference for walkable communities than in the past. Forty-eight percent of survey respondents say they would prefer to live in a community that has homes with small yards that are within easy walking distance to amenities over communities that have homes with large yards that require you to drive to all amenities.
Americans say they desire more choices when it comes to transportation options in their community, whether that’s walking, biking, or driving. Eighty-five percent of respondents say that sidewalks are a positive feature they look for when purchasing a home and 79 percent say finding a place that is within easy walking distance of places is also important.
Women showed the highest preference for walkability, with 61 percent saying that the availability of sidewalks with stores and restaurants to walk to is very important to them.