The National Association of Realtors in the US has a “Community and Transportation Preference Survey” that it conducts usually every two years. Last year (2020), wasn’t supposed to be a survey year, but given the pandemic, they decided to run it in June and see if people’s preferences had changed at all during that time.
Last June feels like eons ago to me and I bet that if you asked people how they were feeling today it may be slightly different. Nonetheless, the survey asked 2,000 adults from the fifty-largest metro areas a bunch of questions about where and how they live and where and how they might want to live in the future.
The topline results can be found over here. But for a bit of context, 58% of respondents were people who lived in a single-family detached house; 26% of respondents were people who lived in a building with two or more apartments and condos; and the rest of the respondents were split across townhouses, rowhouses, mobile homes, trailers, and other. (I’m kind of curious about the 2% who answered with other.)
One of the questions that I thought might be interesting to this audience is this one here about housing preferences going forward:
The question asks the respondents to imagine that they are moving into another home. It then asks about priorities and, more specifically, about their preferred trade-off between amenities and walkability versus a large detached house with a big yard.
Overall the split in preferences has remained close to 50/50 over the last three surveys. But there appears to be a small uptick toward large homes and less amenities. I wouldn’t be surprised if the pandemic contributed to this thinking last summer. But who knows if this will persist. At the same time, actions speak louder than words.
My response to the above question would be less space, greater walkability, and more amenities. I have no desire to live in a low-rise grade-related house, especially one that is disconnected from the city. I like urbanity. What about you?