Survey: Americans Prefer Walkable Communities

NAR has conducted community preferences surveys for over 20 years, providing members with information on shifting American lifestyles & trends.
Family walking in community area

© Getty Images / Tony Anderson / Digitalvision

Americans living in walkable communities report a higher quality of life, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2023 Community and Transportation Preferences Survey, gauging what community attributes people find most desirable within America’s 50 largest metropolitan areas.

Commercial practitioners may find the survey offers useful data points for retailers or other businesses seeking the right location.

NAR has conducted community preferences surveys for more than 20 years, providing NAR members and their communities with valuable information on shifting American lifestyles and migration trends.

Among noteworthy findings of the survey:

  • 79% said being within an easy walk of other places and amenities, such as shops and parks, is very or somewhat important when deciding where to live. Of these respondents, 78% indicated they would be willing to pay more to live in a walkable community.
  • 85% said sidewalks and places to walk are very or somewhat important.
  • 65% said having public transportation nearby is very or somewhat important.
  • 56% said they would prefer a house with a small yard where they were able to walk to places, compared to 44% who would prefer a large yard where they would need to drive to most places.
  • Generation plays an important role: Asked about their preferred community,

Gen Zers and millennials are more likely to prefer an apartment or townhouse with walkability and a short commute. Gen Xers and Boomers are more likely to lean toward a detached single-family home and longer commute.


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