Homebuyers Prefer Walkable Neighborhoods

A new report finds longer commutes are increasing demand for walkable neighborhoods.

The prospect of lengthening commutes is leading more Americans toseek walkable neighborhoods in close-in suburbs and cities, according to the 2004 American Community Surveysponsored by the National Association of Realtors and Smart Growth America.

According to the study, a commute time of 45 minutes or less is the top priority in deciding where to live for 79 percent of Americans. Other top priorities include easy access to highways, important to 75 percent, and having sidewalks and places to walk, important to 72 percent. Having a large house on more than one acre of land was important to 57 percent of Americans.

Among people planning to buy a home in the next three years, 87 percent place a high importance on a shorter commute as their top priority. Asked to choose between two communities, six in ten prospective homebuyers chose a neighborhood that offered a shorter commute, sidewalks and amenities like shops, restaurants, libraries, schools and public transportation within walking distance over a sprawling community with larger lots,limited options for walking and a longer commute.

[Editor's note: The link below is to a 1.5 MB PDF document.]

Thanks to Chris Steins

Full Story: 2004 American Community Survey

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