Update 4 March 2022 – all links were broken, including the one from the Virginia Realtors’ site, so I had to spend time searching the Internet Archive.
In his hunt for a new home, Demetrius Stroud crunched the numbers to find out that, with gas prices climbing, moving near an Amtrak station is the best thing for his wallet.
Stroud was looking in Elk Grove., Calif. — about 85 miles away from his job in the San Francisco Bay Area — because homes there are more affordable. But with gas at $4.50 and a car that gets about 22 miles per gallon, Stroud would be pumping $560 a month into his tank.
Stroud’s choice represents a fundamental shift in the way more Americans are approaching home buying in this era of ballooning gas prices. Real estate agents, transportation officials and industry surveys indicate that home buyers are placing more importance on cutting their gas bills and commute times than they have since the oil shocks of the 1970s.
And there are some early indications that homes near urban centers, and subway, train and bus stops are often selling faster and at better prices than those in the distant suburbs.
On Wednesday, a survey of 900 Coldwell Banker agents showed a remarkable 96 percent said that rising gas prices were a concern to their clients, and 78 percent said higher fuel costs are increasing their desire for city living.
Don Denton, manager of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in the Capitol Hill area of Washington, D.C., said prices are holding in the area and the neighborhood appears to be expanding.
“We have seen a steady increase in interest in our area over the last several years and it is comparable to how the reaction to the 1970s gas crisis sparked an interest in this area and inside the entire Beltway,” Denton said.
Updated 25 March 2010:
The above yahoo video link was broken. Here is a direct link to a ghostburbs story.
“SUV factories closing, bicycle sales and train use rocketing, commuter belts becoming “ghostburbs” as residents flock to the inner cities . . . welcome to 2008 America, where soaring oil and petrol prices have triggered a sudden revolution in travel behaviour and a seismic upheaval in the automobile industry.
Four dollars (£2) for a gallon of petrol may seem like peanuts on this side of the pond, but in the shellshocked US, where pump prices have doubled since 2004, it is proving to be the breaking point for millions of recession-hit households. In March 2008, according to the US department of transportation, Americans drove 11bn fewer miles than in March 2007 – a 4.3% drop, and the first downward trend in 30 years.
As environmentalists quietly applaud from the sidelines, consumers are either abandoning their beloved SUVs for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles or turning in droves to alternative forms of transport.”