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Insights from the 2020 Community and Transportation Preference Survey

The National Association of Realtors' recent Community and Transportation Preference Survey shows that many households prefer living in walkable urban neighborhoods, and those that do have a higher quality of life.
October 21, 2020, 11am PDT | Todd Litman
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Living and moving
2020 Community and Transportation Preference Survey

The National Association of Realtors' (NAR) 2020 Community and Transportation Preference Survey investigates how COVID has affected housing and travel preferences. It finds that many households would prefer to live in more walkable neighborhoods, and residents of such areas report a higher quality of life than those who live in less walkable areas. 

NAR’s biannual Community & Transportation Preferences Surveys poll residents in America’s 50 largest metropolitan areas. The first 2020 survey was conducted in February, immediately before the impacts of COVID-19 began to be felt, and again at the end of July.

The survey found that Americans under 40 (millennials and Generation Y) are most likely to say their overall quality of life has been negatively impacted by the pandemic, while they also note a reduced need to reside near highways, public transit or their place of work. Although COVID has dramatically changed people’s lives, this study shows that a substantial demand for walkability persists for Americans of all ages,” Malta added.

Among other noteworthy findings of the July survey:

  • Respondents who strongly agree that there are “lots of places to walk nearby” show an 8% increase in quality of life.
  • Americans older than 55 and those with higher incomes show an increased interest in walkability.
  • Families with children in school show an increased desire for detached homes and larger yards.
  • The importance of easy access to public transit and highways dropped 8% and 5%, respectively, from pre-pandemic levels.
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Published on Monday, October 19, 2020 in 2020 Community and Transportation Preference Survey
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