Study Indicates Americans Prefer Smart Growth CommunitiesJune 2011 – Newsletters In the Zone
According to the recent Community Preference Survey of the National Association of REALTORS®, Americans favor walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods, with 56 percent of respondents preferring smart growth neighborhoods over neighborhoods that require more driving between home, work and recreation.
Walkable communities are defined as those where shops, restaurants and local businesses are within walking distance from homes. According to the survey, when considering a home purchase, 77 percent of respondents said they would look for neighborhoods with abundant sidewalks and other pedestrian-friendly features, and 50 percent would like to see improvements to existing public transportation rather than initiatives to build new roads and developments.
The survey also revealed that while space is important to home buyers, many are willing to sacrifice square footage for less driving. Eighty percent of those surveyed would prefer to live in a single family, detached home as long as it did not require a longer commute, but nearly three out of five of those surveyed – 59 percent – would choose a smaller home if it meant a commute time of 20 minutes or less.
The survey also found community characteristics are very important to most people. When considering a home purchase, 88 percent of respondents placed more value on the quality of the neighborhood than the size of the home, and 77 percent want communities with high-quality schools.
The survey of 2,071 adult Americans was conducted by Belden, Russonello and Stewart from February 15-24, 2011.
For more information, please contact Robert W. Gundlach, Jr. at 215.918.3636 or [email protected].