Most millennials don’t want to live in neighborhoods that are only accessible by car, a National Association of Realtors survey found.
The days of suburban cul de sacs are numbered: Millennials prefer walking over driving by 12 percentage points, according to a new poll conducted for the National Association of Realtors.
That’s the largest margin in favor of walking for any generation. Millennials want to live within walking distance to shops and restaurants, and have a short commute to work. They also favor expanding public transportation and alternatives such as biking.
The housing market must change to meet these preferences. Millennial disinterest in traditional single-family homes may be one reason why the home ownership rate in the U.S. fell to 63.4 percent in the second quarter, its lowest level since 1967.
“While there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all community, more and more homebuyers are expressing interest in living in mixed-use, transit-accessible communities,” said NAR President Chris Polychron, executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Ark.
Nearly half of Americans surveyed said they would prefer to live in neighborhoods that have small yards but are in easy walking distance to stores and restaurants, vs neighborhods with large yards but where driving is required to get to amenities.
Around 60 percent of Americans live in detached, single-family houses, but one in four of these individuals would rather live in an attached home in a more walkable neighborhood.
There’s still strong support for maintaining roads and expanding them to ease traffic congestion, but more than half of survey respondents said expanding public transit and other alternatives to driving should also be top priorities.
“This poll shows again how strong a role transportation plays in housing decisions,” said Jennifer Dill, director of the Transportation Research and Education Center at Portland State University, which collaborated with NAR on the survey.