Pedestrian Power? Realtors Survey Finds Most Americans Prefer Walkable Communities

WRE News June 29, 2023


Pedestrian Power? Realtors Survey Finds Most Americans Prefer Walkable Communities

While the notion of Americans being auto-obsessed has been a stereotype for decades, a new survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found most Americans prefer living in walkable communities.

NAR’s 2023 Community & Transportation Preferences Survey polled residents in the nation’s 50 largest metro areas regarding where they wanted to live. The survey found 79% of respondents stating that being within an easy walk of locations including shops and parks was either very or somewhat important, while 78% of those indicated they would be willing to pay more to live in a walkable community.

And where the respondents walked was equally important: 85% said sidewalks and places to walk are very or somewhat important. But for those who didn’t want to drive far distances, 65% said having public transport nearby was very or somewhat important.

Realtors might take note that 56% of the survey’s respondents said they would prefer a house with a small yard and be able to walk to places, compared to 44% who would prefer a large yard and would need to drive to most places. And 53% preferred an attached dwelling and be able to walk to shops, restaurants and a short commute to work versus 47% who would prefer a single-family home and have to drive to shops, restaurants and a longer commute.

“With Covid in our rearview mirror, this study shows that a substantial demand for walkability persists for Americans of all ages,” said NAR President Kenny Parcell. “NAR has conducted community preference surveys for over 20 years, providing realtors and their communities with valuable information on shifting American lifestyles and migration trends. To help local communities and realtor associations improve the places they live, NAR generates this survey and makes the results available to all.”

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