Tap NAR Research to Enhance Client Discussions about Community, Transportation Preferences | SRES®

Tap NAR Research to Enhance Client Discussions about Community, Transportation Preferences

SRES® Staff
woman walking dog through suburban neighborhood

The 2023 Community & Transportation Preferences Survey by the National Association of REALTORS® offers some compelling statistics to use when you're talking with clients about their homes' selling points and in developing a marketing strategy. The insight also could help you position a home to attract younger prospective buyers.

The survey looks at people's location preferences and the community characteristics they highly value. By incorporating survey insights into discussions with buyers, you can better understand what they value and guide them to home choices that best align with their lifestyle preferences.

Some takeaways include the top community qualities ranked most to least important for all generations.
They are:

  1. Low levels of crime
  2. Walkable to shops and restaurants
  3. A large house
  4. A large yard
  5. High-quality public schools
  6. A short commute

A community's walkability is highly desirable, and about six in ten residents would spend at least a little more on a house in a walkable neighborhood.

In addition, the willingness to spend more for walkability is linked to generational differences. For instance, about 90 percent of Gen Z and Millennials say they'd pay more for a walkable community, and one-third say they'd pay a lot more.

Moreover, walkability directly affects the quality of life for many, though there are differences among what urban, suburban, and rural residents look for. Urban residents, for example, prioritize these factors more than those living in suburban and rural areas.

  • Sidewalks and places to take walks
  • Being within a short commute to work
  • Being within an easy walk of other places and things in a community, such as shops and parks
  • Easy access to the highway
  • Having public transit, nearby
  • Bike lanes and paths nearby

Some additional study takeaways include:

  • People under age 50 are much more likely to look for short commutes to work, with nearly half of Millennials describing it as very important in deciding where to live. Gen Z and Millennials value proximity to public transit more than closeness to a highway.
  • When given a choice between a detached, single-family house that requires driving to shops and a longer commute to work and a townhouse or apartment with an easy walk to shops and a shorter commute to work, Gen Xers and Millennials are more likely to prefer an apartment or townhouse with walkability and a short commute. In contrast, Gen Xers and Boomers are more likely to lean toward a detached single-family home.
  • About six in ten residents say they drive because they have no other options. Older residents are likelier to walk less because of traffic and safety concerns or because their health prevents them.