In real estate, location still matters - a lot. In fact, for the majority of Americans, the right neighborhood trumps the right house, according to a new report by The Demand Institute. But perhaps more surprising is that most people (59%) who move won't go far, staying within 30 miles of their current home.
While some urban markets have boomed in recent years, more movers are pulling away from dense city centers rather than moving closer. The research, which surveyed more than 10,000 households, shows that the suburbs - home to bigger, more affordable houses and safer neighborhoods - will attract the most movers.
"Strong suburban demand is directly tied to the perception of what constitutes a safe neighborhood," explained Louise Keely, president of The Demand Institute and senior vice president at Nielsen. "Most of us want to live where we feel safe, and that is quiet and well maintained. Unfortunately, we also know 'safe neighborhoods' is a top unmet housing need for many Americans - and one in five report that their neighborhoods are becoming less safe despite continued declines in crime nationally."
According to the report, "Location Matters: Where America is Moving," other location-related priorities vary widely and can be polarizing. Those with school-age children care about good schools (30%); others want to be close to their workplace (32%). Some want walkable neighborhoods (39%) near entertainment, services and public transit, yet most are fine with being a short drive from grocery stores, restaurants, parks and other amenities.