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Americans prefer mixed-use, walkable communities


Miami a top ‘walkable’ U.S. city

Walk Score issues an annual ranking of cities, and it listed Miami as No. 5 in its top 10 list as “most walkable.” For more information on why Miami did so well, visit the Walk Score website.

WASHINGTON – Nov. 6, 2013 – Research by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) has consistently showed that Americans prefer walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods and shorter commutes.

According to NAR’s 2013 Community Preference Survey, 60 percent of respondents favor a neighborhood with a mix of houses, stores and other businesses within walking distance, rather than neighborhoods that require more driving.

And while the size of a property matters, buyers are willing to compromise size for a preferred neighborhood and less commuting. For example, although 52 percent of those surveyed prefer a single-family detached house with a large yard, 78 percent said that the neighborhood is more important than the size of the house.

Fifty-seven percent would forego a home with a larger yard if it meant a shorter commute to work, and 55 percent were willing to forego a home with larger yard if it meant they could live within walking distance of schools, stores and restaurants.

“Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach, smart growth is typically characterized by mixed-use development, higher densities and pedestrian friendly streets that accommodate a wide diversity of transportation modes,” says NAR President Gary Thomas.

When asked to identify their ideal community, the most popular choice was a suburban neighborhood with a mix of houses, shops and businesses. The least popular was a suburban neighborhood with just houses.

When considering transportation concerns, 41 percent of those surveyed said better public transportation is the top solution; 29 percent prefer communities where people don’t have to drive long distances to work or shop; and 20 percent would prefer to build new roads.

American Strategies and Meyers Research conducted the survey of 1,500 adult Americans from Sept. 18-24, 2013. An analysis of the survey is available on NAR’s website.

© 2013 Florida Realtors®

Related Topics: Trends