0 20 40 60 80 100
or other reasons; the places they need to go are too far to
bike; they don’t have a bike; they don’t feel safe in traffic,
and there are too few bike lanes or trails.
Prefer walkable neighborhoods
The NAR survey also looked at housing preferences and
neighborhood design. Millennials are more interested in
being within easy walking distance of places and having
public transit nearby. In particular, 51 percent of millennials want to live within a short commute to work, and
40 percent want easy access to the highway. And, both millennials and Gen X are more interested in sidewalks and
bike lanes and paths.
But millennials have hardly abandoned cars. Even the
American Public Transportation Association (APTA) found
in its survey of millennials’ transportation preferences that
“driving a car is their number one preference,” said Darnell
Grisby, APTA director of policy development and research.
APTA also found that a variety of transportation options
makes a community particularly attractive to millennials.
The NAR survey found a similar preference — millennials put more importance on living within an easy walk of
places and having public transportation nearby. Overall,
they prefer an attached home (apartment or townhouse)
where they have an easy walk to shops and restaurants and
a shorter commute.
Still, most millennials, like other age groups, live in
detached, single family homes. Most of those homes have
sidewalks available, but fewer have lots of places to walk
to, such as shops, cafes and restaurants.
The NAR survey also found that people of all ages with
places to walk to are more satisfied with the quality of life
in their community.
As Athens, Ga., REALTOR® Luke found, walkability is not
found only in cities. That’s just as well, because in many
cities, millennials just starting their careers are being priced
out of city housing.
APTA’s Grisby sees promise in some of the older inner ring
suburbs that have seen some wear but are near transit and
offer yards that millennials may want as they start families. Some of those areas have seen recent investment by
developers but are still less expensive than housing in the
city or more fashionable suburbs.
“The distinction between urban and suburban is increasingly not very important,” as long as the area is walkable
to destinations, said Grisby.
Respondents were asked, if you moved, in which
type of community would you prefer to live:
Home A: (attached, walkable) Own/rent an apart-ment/townhouse, and you have an easy walk to
shops/restaurants & have a shorter commute
Home B: (detached, conventional) Own/rent detached, single-family house, and you have to drive
to shops, restaurants, & have a longer commute
Silent/ Greatest Generation (Born 1944 or before)
Baby Boomers (Born 1945 to 1964)
Gen X (Born 1965 to 1980)
Millennial (Born 1981 or later)
Courtesy of Visit Savannah