In an article in Market Watch yesterday, “homes near walkable, and often bikeable, trails enjoy premiums of between 5% to 10%, according to an analysis by Headwaters Economics, a research group focused on community development and land management issues.”
The article added, “What’s happening is, a little bit of the city is following people into the suburbs,” says Ed McMahon, senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute, a Washington, D.C.–based land and real estate research and education group. “Almost all the successful suburbs are building walkable, mixed-use centers.”
Mel Jones, a research scientist at the Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech said in the Market Watch article, “No, millennials aren’t completely abandoning cities. They still flock to them, in fact. But increasingly they are viewing them as a place to work, rather than a place to live. But they’re willing to move farther out (and commute longer distances) as long as their towns are stocked with all the amenities they crave.
“What millennials want are places that have a vibrancy, where you … can shop, go out to bars, walk, and bike,” says Lynn Richards, president and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism, a Chicago-based advocacy group for more pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.
In just the past year, 136 communities from across the country applied to be designated as Bicycle Friendly Communities through the League of American Bicyclists. Sixty-three were suburbs and 17 were rural towns.
Also noted the article: “For a very long time we built up our towns and villages and cities to drive” in, says transportation consultant David Fields with San Francisco–based Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates, adding that even drivers like to park their cars and walk around. “People ultimately want choice.” He says demand for biking-accessible communities is currently the highest he has ever seen.
No. 1 thing potential buyers of all ages want in their communities is walkability, concluded Market Watch.