The National Association of REALTORS® recently released the latest edition of its Community & Transportation Preferences Survey, a poll taken every two to three years of residents in the 50-largest metropolitan areas to gauge partialities regarding their home’s type and location, in addition to community attributes they find desirable.
The survey found that coming out of the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for living in a walkable community remains robust, including the following observations:
- People living in walkable communities are more likely to be very satisfied with their quality of life.
- 35% of Gen Z and 33% of millennial respondents who indicated that they are very or somewhat interested in living in a walkable community said that they are willing to “pay a lot more” to live in a walkable community versus 24% of overall respondents favoring walkable communities.
Furthermore, if deciding today where to live, the following percentage of respondents indicated the following preferences were very or somewhat important:
- 79%: being within an easy walk of other places and things, such as shops and parks
- 85%: having sidewalks and places to walk
- 65%: having public transport nearby
The survey, which began in 2015 with a sample size of 2,000, allows for substantial longitudinal comparisons and the ability to record preferences by generation. For example, the first graph (top left) shows that there has been a steady increase in respondents from 2015 to 2023 who prefer to live in a walkable community, and that in 2023, 53% would prefer an attached dwelling (own or rent a townhouse/condo/apartment) and be able to walk to shops, restaurants and have a short commute to work versus 47% who would prefer a single-family home (own or rent) and have to drive to shops and restaurants and have a longer commute.
In the second graph, that same data, broken out by generation, shows that Gen Z and millennials prefer a walkable community, while Gen X and baby boomers prefer the single-family home in a drivable community, and lastly, members of the silent/greatest generation are evenly split.
To access the full 2023 slide deck, plus decks from previous surveys, please visit https://www.nar.realtor/reports/nar-community-and-transportation-preference-surveys.