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Why walkable neighborhoods are hot when it comes to home sales

A new study from the National Association of Realtors shows that Americans who live in a walkable community have a higher quality of life.
Why walkable neighborhoods are hot when it comes to home sales
Posted at 5:36 AM, Aug 04, 2023

As soon as Realtor LouAnn Fellers listed a colonial-style home in Morris Plains, New Jersey, the calls came pouring in. To her surprise, she received 14 offers over the asking price of $689,000.

The reason: it’s in a community with sidewalks close to downtown.

"I’m finding there are two big trends," Fellers said. "In terms of trends, walkability is big. But there’s also the trend that a lot of buyers aren’t looking for bigger homes. They’re looking for smaller homes, but with sophisticated finishes."

new study from the National Association of Realtors shows that Americans who live in a walkable community have a higher quality of life. In deciding where to live, the survey showed that 79% of respondents said being within an easy walk of other places and things, such as shops and parks, is important, and 78% of those indicated that they would be willing to pay more to live in a walkable community.

Another 85% addressed lifestyle amenities such as being able to walk to places. The real estate survey shows that being near shops, restaurants, as well as public transportation are key issues, especially for millennials.

More than 30% of Gen Z and millennials surveyed said they would pay a lot more to live in a walkable community. But it’s not just younger buyers who are looking for homes in walkable areas.

"I’m also finding there are a lot of empty nesters," Fellers said. "They raised their family. They are ready to move on because they feel isolated there, and they’re ready to be connected to the energy of others."

SEE MORE: With high interest rates, does it make sense to buy that house now?

The survey findings indicate that while the size of the property does matter to buyers, they are willing to compromise size for a preferred neighborhood and less commuting. For example, while 52% of those surveyed prefer a single-family detached house with a large yard, 78% responded that the neighborhood is more important to them than the size of the house.

"With COVID in our rearview mirror, this study shows that a substantial demand for walkability persists for Americans of all ages," Kenny Parcell, president of the National Association of Realtors, said in a statement.


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