Shifts in Consumer Preferences Help New Urbanism Weather Real Estate Storm
A new Gfk Roper study shows Americans developing especially positive attitudes toward New Urbanism and neighborhoods where people live near each other (New Urbanism phrased another way).
Judging from a report in the Denver Post, this study is a keeper. Here are a few quotes:
"The report deemed "New Urban" communities such as Prospect, Colo., the
most desirable areas in which to buy homes because they monitor sprawl,
foster walkable amenities, and strike a development balance between
homes, schools and businesses." The re-emergence of front-porch
socializing, main streets and corner stores are key to America's most
"More than 90 percent of Americans consider the ideal neighborhood to be
one where people live near one another..."
With a 2003 U of MD study published in the Journal of Urban Economics coming to similar conclusions -- that buyers pay 15.5% premium for elements like connected street networks, smaller blocks, better pedestrian access to shops and proximity to light rail -- we're revising CNU's message on the Coming Demand. A previous study credited to CNU keeps getting repeated and has a life of its own: it says 30% of people would consider living in a compact traditional neighborhood. Once upon a time, when sprawl was truly the default development option, that might have sounded good, but it appears that examples of NU on the ground are proving powerful and prevalent enough to move mainstream consumer opinion. The 30% figure is clearly out of date.
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