Rising Gas Prices Encourage Buyers to Pursue Urban Living

by Chicago Agent

Coldwell Banker recently released the results of an online survey, which asked 1,188 Coldwell Banker real estate professionals about their perceptions regarding gas prices impacting home buying trends; many professionals noted an increase in desire for urban living, short commute or no commute at all (home offices) due to rising gas prices.

“I found that just in the last week alone I’ve had two instances where agents said buyers are making decisions specifically based on the cost of gas,” said Nina Fotopoulos, branch manager for Coldwell Banker Hinsdale Village, in an interview with Chicago Agent.

The survey demonstrated that “75 percent said that the recent spike in gas prices has influenced their clients’ decisions on where to live, and 93 percent said if gas prices continue to rise, more home buyers will choose to live somewhere that allows for a closer commute to their work,” according to the press release.

Fotopoulos noted that the trend peaked approximately 90 days ago, right around the time gas prices started going up. “I think we will see this for awhile,” she added.

Eighty-nine percent of survey takers said that buyers are looking for homes with a close proximity to work, and 45 percent have noticed a strong trend of buyers selecting homes closer to shops and services due to the hike in gas prices.

According to the survey, agents believe that approximately 77 percent of buyers are interested in home offices, and 68 percent believe this is directly connected to the gas prices. Fotopoulos agreed, saying of home offices that: “more and more people are moving in that direction because travel is not only costly, but time consuming.”

Another noted trend is an increased desire for urban living, said 56 percent of the surveyed real estate professionals.

Fotopoulos added that buyers are now frequently interested in properties that are within blocks of desired destinations-schools, public transportation, stores, restaurants and offices. “Not only do people want to drive less, they don’t have to drive at all if they don’t want to.”

The trend has also impacted how agents show their listings, said Fotopoulos. While they have always highlighted home offices and properties within walking distance to amenities, now they are also striving to show multiple properties in one day in order to save potential buyers gas money.

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