Kelly Leighton

Last Updated: January 9, 2018 | View all posts by Kelly Leighton

More people want to live close to the action.

According to the National Association of Realtors®’ 2017 National Community and Transportation Preference Survey, 62 percent of millennials and 55 percent of the silent generation, defined as those born before 1944, covet living in areas where they can walk to entertainment, such as shops and dining.

Overall, the majority of all Americans (53 percent) prefer to live in areas with homes with small yards, but living within walking distance to facilities in their communities, as opposed to living in a larger home unable to walk to amenities. This has increased 5 percent in the past two years. The survey found that the more walkable a community is, the more satisfied its residents are. Sixty percent of consumers would spend more on a home to live in a walkable area, near parks, entertainment and dining, and millennials are the generation most likely to spend more. Women, especially those under 50, find living in a walkable area, along with access to public transit, important.

Living in a walkable community may require some sacrifice. Thirty-seven percent of Americans would live in a townhouse or apartment, as opposed to a detached home, for a shorter commute and walkability, including 60 percent of millennials. When shopping for a home, sidewalks are a positive feature in an neighborhood, according to 86 percent, and 80 percent said they want their new home to be in a walkable area.

Close to 90 percent of Americans are somewhat or very satisfied with their communities, and more than 51 percent attribute at least part of that satisfaction to the walkability of their community.