“The most requested neighborhood characteristic of all buyers is walkability,” real estate broker Andrea Evers recently told a reporter for The Washington Post. But, in an article written by the Post’s Michele Lerner, Evers went on to say that “very few areas” in the greater DC market meet the desired criterion, particularly if the prospective buyer wants to be within walking distance of a Metro transit station. And that, in a nutshell, is the good and bad news of walkability.
Let’s elaborate on the good part: More and more of us want to be within safe and comfortable walking distance of the destinations that meet our everyday needs, such as shops, places to eat, services, parks, and good transportation options that can take us downtown and to jobs and other places we want to go. It’s the hottest trend in real estate, sought by buyers and renters alike.
In fact, demand for walkable neighborhoods is only going to increase, as more and more members of the millennial generation, the largest generation in American history, enter the home-seeking market. Millennials prefer urban amenities more than their predecessors: 50 percent consider it “very important” to be within an easy walk of places “such as shops, cafes and restaurants,” according to the results of a nationwide survey released earlier this year by the National Association of Realtors and Portland State University. Among baby boomers, the portion considering walkability to be very important is 38 percent.
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