Younger Americans Lead Desire for Bigger Homes, Outdoor Space

October 13, 2020

Young Americans are having their housing preferences shaped by the pandemic. They’re seeking larger homes and outdoor space, yet in walkable areas, according to findings from the 2020 Community and Transportation Preference Surveys recently conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®.

Young adults who live in walkable areas tend to report a higher quality of life than those who live in less walkable areas, the survey shows. And young Americans may need a boost: Americans under the age of 40—millennials and Generation Z—are the most likely to say their overall quality of life has been negatively affected by the pandemic.

“Although COVID has dramatically changed people’s lives, this study shows that a substantial demand for walkability persists for Americans of all ages,” says Vince Malta, NAR’s president.

The survey also showed that families with children in school tended to show a stronger desire for detached homes and larger yards. Before the pandemic, a majority of Americans preferred smaller yards in a walkable community, the survey says.

Americans 55 and older and those with higher incomes also tended to show an increased desire for walkability in their neighborhood.

Overall, survey respondents who strongly agreed with the statement that there are “lots of places to walk nearby” showed an 8% increase in quality of life, the NAR survey shows.

NAR Community and Transportation Preferences Surveys,” National Association of REALTORS® (2020)