The national trend towards health and wellness is affecting every demographic group. From kids to seniors, we are all looking for ways to stay healthy and feel good. One of the main amenities that consumers crave are walking trails. This is a misnomer as many other things happen on walking trails – bikes, trikes, roller blades, strollers and walkers/runners. These are some amazing stats on how walking trails can impact your sales. For urban developers, walk ability to everything and for exercise is just as popular. You can read the original article here.
According to an article at Americantrails.org, 79% of home buyers desire walking trails and biking paths.
The article states that natural surface trails are the most advantageous amenity that a developer can add to a new project. They also claim that trails are the most preferred amenity of potential home buyers.
Pretty big claims but they back it up with amenity estimate and cost/benefit charts.
The amenity chart paints a pretty detailed picture of what it costs to build and maintain a natural surface trail. The article points out that with such a low startup fee and maintenance fee, builders could see an estimated return of 14 times that of their investment. The expense of building pools, tennis courts, playgrounds can be overwhelming for a small community. With walking trails being the number one amenity, the upfront cost will far outweigh any expense.
The article also addresses the most common concerns that arise when considering a natural surface trail. It does its best to calm any concerns there may be concerning land availability, liability and proper land quality.
They believe trails that are engineered with a wide variety of consumers in mind will ultimately maximize the value of the product in their eyes. It is hard to disagree this. To be honest, it is a philosophy we should be using in every aspect of our projects.