“Thanks, but I think I’ll walk.”

The results of a recent survey show a growing preference for walkable communities – and that some Americans are willing to downsize to live in them.

Forty-eight percent of survey respondents said they would exchange living in housing communities with large yards for communities with smaller yards if it meant their home was within walking distance to important amenities. Of the 60 percent of respondents who currently live in a detached home, 25 percent would prefer an attached home if it provided greater walkability.

When choosing a new a home, 79 percent of respondents said it was important the new location be within easy walking distance of places such as shops and parks.

The preference for walking may be generational. For example, 50 percent of Millennials prefer walkable neighborhoods while the same is true of only 43 percent of Generation Xers, 38 percent of Baby Boomers and 30 percent of members of the Silent Generation.

Millennials are also more likely to use public transportation and showed greater support than other age groups for the government to build more sidewalks, focus on developing walkable communities and make alternatives to driving, such as biking, more convenient.

The survey was conducted by the National Association of Realtors® and Portland State University in an effort to find out how people feel about getting around town. More information about the study can be found by visiting the National Association of Realtors’ website: http://www.realtor.org/reports/nar-2015-community-preference-survey.

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