New study by National Association of Realtors finds consumers want smart growth amenities

According to a report released today by the National Association of Realtors, Americans favor walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods over neighborhoods that require more driving between home, work and recreation. 77 percent of respondents said they would look for neighborhoods with abundant sidewalks and other pedestrian-friendly features when considering buying a home. 50 percent would like to see improvements to existing public transportation rather than initiatives to build new roads and developments.

“Our members don’t just sell homes, they sell neighborhoods,” NAR President Ron Phipps said in a statement. “REALTORS® understand that different home buyers are looking for all kinds of neighborhood settings and that many home buyers want walkable, transit-accessible communities.”

The fact that home buyers want smart growth neighborhoods isn’t a new idea. LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors is a network of professionals who use smart growth strategies to create the neighborhoods consumers are demanding. Chris Leinberger, President of LOCUS, said in a statement, “NAR’s survey reveals what many real estate developers are seeing across the country: smart growth strategies are the best way to meet market demand for walkable neighborhoods with shorter commutes, diverse housing options and transportation choices. Demographic shifts in the United States along with the changing consumer preferences highlighted in NAR’s survey illustrate that consumers want neighborhoods with more walkable housing and transportation choices.

“Despite these emerging trends, federal policy often prevents real estate developers from meeting market demands for smart growth neighborhoods. LOCUS members are working with Congress to remove this red tape to help developers rebuild local economies with the strong neighborhoods Americans want to live in.”

Download the new study from the National Association of Realtors
NAR Study Finds Americans Prefer Smart Growth Communities [MarketWire, 4/4/11]