NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.
Commute (The Conversation, May 4, 2023)
“Our research project, completed in late 2022, found that a lengthy commute to work is associated with being less physically active, being overweight, and having sleep problems. And, depending on where your office is located, you may also be more likely to drink in excess.”
Surveys Reveal What Some Would Give to End Their Commute (Business News Daily, Feb. 21, 2023)
- “Several national and local studies have uncovered strong negative correlations between commuting and job satisfaction (and overall well-being).
- Many people would take pay cuts – some small, others substantial – to shorten their commutes.
- The shift to remote work amid the COVID-19 pandemic reduced commutes and increased employees’ well-being. Employers can also save money by switching teams to half-remote, half-in-person arrangements.”
What Have Workers Done with the Time Freed up by Commuting Less? (Liberty Street Economics, Oct. 18, 2022)
“Our results show important relationships in the substitutability of time use. The findings lend credence to the various reports on employees’ preferences for flexible work arrangements, given that cutting the commute enables people to spend their time on other activities, such as childcare or leisure. This added benefit of working from home—for those who want it—will be an important consideration for the future of flexible work arrangements.”
Commuting’s Impact on Creativity (Harvard Magazine, Sep.-Oct. 2021)
A study of inventors and commute length “revealed that for every 10 miles of added travel distance, the firms that employed those inventors registered 8 percent fewer patents. Even more dramatic, the patents’ quality—measured by the number of times a patent was cited by other inventors—dropped 11 percent with every 10 miles added to an inventors’ commute.”
Commuting and Where to Live
Workplace Flexibility May Help Address Affordability Concerns (Fannie Mae, Aug. 30, 2023)
“When coupled with the reported rise in the importance of affordability, it's not surprising to us that respondents expressed a greater willingness to live farther from their current location. Of course, renters indicated the greatest affordability concerns, as well as a willingness to consider areas farther away from their current location. For those considering homeownership, this sort of greater location flexibility increases the odds of finding a home within budget.”
NAR 2023 Community and Transportation Preferences Survey (National Association of REALTORS®, Jun. 27, 2023)
“People under age 50 are much more likely to prioritize a short commute to work, with nearly half of Millennials describing it as very important in deciding where to live. The importance of walkability is also strongly correlated with generation, with half of Millennials seeing it as very important. Gen Z and Millennials also prioritize proximity to public transit more highly than closeness to the highway.”
The Number of People Primarily Working from Home Tripled Between 2019 and 2021 (U.S. Census Bureau, Sep. 15, 2022)
““Work and commuting are central to American life, so the widespread adoption of working from home is a defining feature of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Michael Burrows, statistician in the Census Bureau’s Journey-to-Work and Migration Statistics Branch. “With the number of people who primarily work from home tripling over just a two-year period, the pandemic has very strongly impacted the commuting landscape in the United States.””
For Home Buyers, Length of Commute Drops in Importance, New Data Shows
(Wall Street Journal
, Jul. 21, 2021)
“[C]ommute length has declined in importance for home buyers, as many workers expect to travel to their offices less often going forward. At the same time, rapidly rising prices have made affordability a bigger concern for many buyers.”
Realtor.com Commute Time Filter
, Jul. 3, 2019)
Search tool from Realtor.com® allows potential buyers to filter their home search by length of commute during rush hour and off-peak times.
As ‘Zoom Town’ Settlers Are Forced Back to the Office, Many Must Choose: Keep My Job, Or My House? (realtor.com®, Mar. 20, 2023)
“And then big employers like Amazon, Salesforce, and Disney began calling workers who had been able to telecommute back into their offices. Those big, cheap houses that these buyers had clamored for just months before were abruptly less appealing given the long, expensive commutes that many homeowners and renters were facing.
And now the future of those previously hot real estate markets in the most remote suburbs, also known as exurbs, and secondary cities has become uncertain.”
Could Zoom Towns Go Bust? (Multifamily Dive, Mar. 21, 2022)
“If there are pockets of risk, it’s where you are seeing people who are putting shovels in the ground to develop units based on what they perceive to be this structural change in migration patterns because of the pandemic,” said Ryan Severino, chief economist for the Chicago-based commercial real estate services firm JLL. “I’m not sure how durable that is.”
Are Zoom Towns the New Boomtowns? (NAIOP, Apr. 29, 2021)
While workers move to zoom towns in search of more space, lower costs of living, and proximity to outdoor amenities, they also bring challenges such as heavier traffic, school overcrowding, and increased demand on broadband services.
First Federal Data on Pandemic-Era Bike Commuting (Bike League, Sep. 15, 2022)
“The story of commuting to work during the Covid-19 pandemic is one of disruption. As we socially distanced, shifted to remote work, and followed public health guidance, many people found new ways to work - most often from home. With the release of 1-year estimates on how people commuted to work in 2021 from the American Community Survey, we can begin to quantify the shift to working from home and the impact of that shift on biking, walking, and transit and how they compare to other types of commutes.”
Commuting by Train Helps Limit Your Carbon Footprint (Edenred, Jun. 15, 2022)
“Public transportation in the form of trains is a much more environmentally friendly way to commute. The use of mass transit in the form of high-speed rails can greatly reduce the impact of CO2 emissions on the environment. Trains also reduce the deterioration of communities’ infrastructure. Furthermore, trains provide personal benefits such as the reduced need for gas and more efficient methods to get to urban jobs.”
The State of Bike Commuting in The US (Bike Adviser, May 2021)
Statistics on bike commuting in the U.S. show that western states have the highest percentages of bike commuters while southeastern states have the lowest. The majority of bike commuters are men, making up 71% of all people who commute by bike.
Switching from Cars to Bikes Cuts Commuting Emissions by 67% (Bloomberg, Mar. 31, 2021) E
“Small changes in citizens' transport habits can significantly cut their carbon footprint, according to an in-depth study of commuting data from more than 3,800 people across seven cities. Choosing a bike over a car just once a day reduces an average citizen's carbon emissions from transport by 67%...”
Public Transportation Savings Calculator (Public Transportation.org, 2022)
Tool from the National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates uses gas mileage, commute length, and fuel cost to calculate the annual savings of using public transportation rather than a car.
Housing + Transportation Affordability Index (Center for Neighborhood Technology)
“The Housing and Transportation (H+T®) Affordability Index provides a comprehensive view of affordability that includes both the cost of housing and the cost of transportation at the neighborhood level.”
Walk Score (WalkScore)
Locations are scored by walkability, transit, and bike infrastructure. Enter a work location to calculate the time length of various commuting options.
U.S. Local & State Transit Links (American Public Transportation Association, 2022)
Listing of all transit agencies across the U. S., organized by state. Includes local and regional agencies of every size.
eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
Hello, Bicycle: An Inspired Guide to the Two-Wheeled Life (eBook)
Knack Cycling for Everyone: A Guide to Road, Mountain, and Commuter Biking (eBook)
Will Work from Home (eBook)
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