Providing quality housing for people of all income levels is an integral component in any smart growth neighborhood. Across the country demand is growing for housing in walkable neighborhoods with access to public transportation, parks and civic spaces. And such housing is holding its value better than housing located in outlying suburbs. Creating a range of housing choices—whether it is a garden apartment, a row house, or a traditional suburban home— allows all households to find their niche in a smart growth community and accommodates growth at the same time.
Smart growth strategies stabilize home prices.
For most of us, a home is the single largest investment we will ever make. Homes in stable, economically healthy neighborhoods can be an important wealth-building tool for each of us, and a region full of these healthy neighborhoods will be better able to attract new investment and jobs.
Smart growth strategies meet market demand.
A 2004 survey by the National Association of Realtors and Smart Growth America revealed that Americans favor communities with shorter commute times and more places to walk rather than sprawling communities. Downtown and in-town housing has topped the list of hot markets for the ULI Emerging Trends in Real Estate for several years, and in 2003, sale prices per square foot for attached housing was higher than that for detached housing for the first time in history.
Smart growth strategies create more housing choices for more people.
The diverse mix of housing options in smart growth neighborhoods – including single-family homes of all sizes, duplexes, small and large apartments, studios above garages or shops, condominiums, and lofts – means people with different housing needs can all live in the same neighborhood, and that residents can remain in a neighborhood even if their housing needs change. This strategy also helps homes better retain their value.
Smart growth strategies reduce housing and transportation costs.
The average American family spends more than 50% of their household budget on housing and transportation costs combined, and that’s simply too much, squeezing out expenditures for education, clothing, health care and other vital needs of everyday life. Smart growth looks at housing affordability the way families do: by considering both rent or mortgage and the cost of getting to work. Smart growth can help families reduce these combined costs.