More Walkable . . . More Desirable . . . More Value

sidewalkWalkable neighborhoods are in high demand.  Today’s buyers favor communities that offer a mix of housing, amenities and services and walkability to workplaces. In a National Association of Realtors® Community Preference Survey, two thirds of those surveyed ranked walkability as an important factor in choosing where to live. Neighborhoods with a mix of housing, shopping, dining and businesses that are easy to walk to were highly preferred over neighborhoods that require more drive time between home, work, schools and recreation.

Communities with greater walkability tend to have higher resale value as well. Walkability plays a big part in a city’s economic vibrancy and desirability. Around the world, some of the most valuable real estate is in walkable metros where people are living and working in closer proximity. Pedestrian and bike friendly streets, access to amenities, entertainment, recreation, work and schools rank high in today’s “must have” list for buyers, outranking square footage, outdoor space and even parking. A wallkable lifestyle, combined with the availability of short term car rental services, reduces the need for multiple cars or a car altogether.

Downtown Bellevue is an excellent example of a walkable urban neighborhood. The city offers level streets and easy access to workplaces, restaurants, shopping, arts and entertainment venues, city parks, health care and award winning schools. Several mixed use projects currently under construction will add more retail and dining opportunities and the addition of light rail in a few years will further enhance the city’s livability and desirability.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Greg Douglass.

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