Higher gas prices.
Stiff says home buyers’ attitudes have changed. The old rule was, “Drive ’til you qualify” – meaning they should go out from the city until they could get what they wanted at a price they could afford.
Stiff says buyers are now asking different questions: “What is the cost of gasoline? What is the cost of my time?”
Recent studies suggest that buyers underestimated the costs of their long commutes. Those expenses can add up to more than the buyers saved on the home. Developers also miscalculated, lured by cheap land and rising home prices. They overreached, “partly because the bubble collapsed, but partly because these developments were just bad ideas to begin with,” Stiff said.
Many of the projects were simply too far away from places that people need to go.
As I said on Inman’s blog yesterday:
I firmly believe, to my core, that this (higher gas prices) is going to drive human settlement and development patterns toward properties that are close to “stuff that is within walking distance.” Buyers who buy today and are within a mile of grocery/coffee/gym – even if in the suburbs – will be grateful and thankful for their decision in three to four years. I filled up on Tuesday it was painful – $61 for a fill-up.
And I drove 120 miles today showing property. 🙂 My tips – work from home at least once a week, combine errands, walk or ride my bike wherever I can, and encourage walkable decisions by my clients and political representatives.
————–Map of Charlottesville areas, and a corresponding explanation of these sub-areas:
————–Map of CharlAlbemarle Town Centers, and an explanation of these sub-regions.