22 Jul How Important Is Walkability?
Walkability is becoming increasingly important to home buyers.
According to a WSJ.com article, consumers are willing to pay a substantial amount more for a home that has shopping and eating locations near by. An example they use is a couple from Oregon who chose a home not solely based on the actual house but how close it was to coffee shops and wooded paths. You can read the article here.
Most of the article talks about a service called Walk Score. This website allows users to input an address and obtain a score on how walkable an address is to amenities in the area. The service has become extremely popular with real estate companies and home buyers.
When you think walkable, think beyond urban. Think about master planned smart communities that are incorporating main streets into their designs. Consumers are willing to live in smaller homes that are closer to neighbors as long as they are able to walk to eating and shopping. Most smart code communities have a main street that runs through the middle of the community. They also have natural walking trails too.
It seems that natural amenities and walkability are major selling points in the housing market right now. The article makes an interesting point about why the demand for walkability is increasing which points towards age demographics. The boomers are retiring and want smaller spaces and a community where they can walk. Generation Y wants a smaller home as well but are also interested in being green and saving money on gas.
Whatever the reason, these are desires that shouldn’t be ignored. You will see these things rather naturally in urban settings but master planned communities will have to take special interest in these things in order to stand out to home buyers.