WASHINGTON (April 4, 2011)—Americans favor walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods, with 56% of respondents preferring smart growth neighborhoods over neighborhoods that require more driving between home, work, and recreation. That’s according to a recent study, the Community Preference Survey, by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.
Walkable communities are defined as those where shops, restaurants, and local businesses are within walking distance from homes. According to the survey, when considering a home purchase:
- 77% of respondents said they’d look for neighborhoods with abundant sidewalks and other pedestrian-friendly features.
- 50% would like to see improvements to existing public transportation rather than initiatives to build new roads and developments.
Many are willing to sacrifice square footage for less driving:
- 80% of those surveyed would prefer to live in a single-family, detached home as long as it didn’t require a longer commute.
- 59%—nearly three out of five of those surveyed—would choose a smaller home if it meant a commute time of 20 minutes or less.
Community characteristics are very important to most people:
- 88% of respondents placed more value on the quality of the neighborhood than the size of the home.
- 77% of those surveyed want communities with high-quality schools.
The survey of 2,071 adult Americans was conducted by Belden, Russonello and Stewart from February 15-24, 2011.
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