Austin along with many other American cities is experiencing a fundamental shift in the way consumers view their housing wants. The demand for “drivable suburban” housing with larger lots and more habitable space appears to be abating in favor compact urban areas with shorter commutes and easier access to shopping, restaurants and community activities. Many are opting for walkable amenity-rich, mixed-use areas that provide an opportunity to share a common bond with neighbors. The desire for a walkable Austin neighborhood is becoming a “must-have” for both home buyers and renters.
How Do I Measure a Neighborhood’s Walkability?
With the influx of so many new Austinites unfamiliar with the area, the need for a tool to compare the features and amenities of a particular neighborhood is especially welcome. www.Walkscore.com helps fill that need. Walkscore.com says the key features of a walkable home are:
- A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a center, whether it’s a main street or public square.
- People: Enough people for businesses to flourish and public transportation to run frequently.
- Mixed income, mixed use: Affordable housing located near businesses.
- Parks and public space: Plenty of public places to gather and play.
- Pedestrian design: Buildings are close to the street, parking lots are relegated to the back.
- Schools and working places: Close enough so most residents can walk from their homes.
- Complete streets: Streets designed for bicyclists, pedestrians and transit.
How Walkability Affects Home Values – It Protects Them
Interestingly, a Brookings Institution report on analyzing the popularity of walkable neighborhoods noted that during the recession homes in suburbs saw the steepest drops in value. While homes in walkable neighborhoods generally cost more, homes closer to the city center saw considerably lower home value decreases.
Only 27% of Austin is Walkable
Most of us recognize that Austin is a car dependent city as Walkscore.com’s ranking of Austin as the 31st most walkable city confirms. The website currently estimates that about 27% Austinites live in a neighborhood with a walk score of 70 or more. Nevertheless, in green minded Austin the ability to compare neighborhoods relative to each other can help you make a better housing decision.
Austin’s Most Walkable Homes for Sale
Check out the most walkable homes and condos for sale in Austin today. Want to put in your own search criteria? Head over to our Austin Home Search and set up your own or email us your search criteria at info@11OaksRealty.com and we’ll set it up for you.
Looking for a Walkable Austin Home?
We can help you find a great deal on an Austin home that meets your lifestyle. Whether you need a very walkable home, or just want to be able to walk to a coffee shop, park, restaurant, we can help you figure out where you might find it around Austin. Check out our Austin Home Buyer Representation Program to find out how we’re different from your average Realtor. Then call us at (512) 827-8323 or email us at info@11OaksRealty.com to schedule a no obligation consultation.