Paying More for Walkable Homes in Charlottesville?

That’s the theory put forth by the Piedmont Environmental Council and reported on at Bacon’s Rebellion.

The conclusions apparently found in their study of 120 homes aren’t a surprise to readers of RealCentralVA (see links at the end of this post), but I wanted to differ with one of the conclusions with three points:

Many people continue to prefer living in the suburbs. But Werner’s divergent trend lines make it clear that supply-side of “walkable urbanism” housing is severely under-served.

— With a reference to a story I wrote in January (and will be revisiting soon)

Apartments – there are going to be a lot more available in 2013 and 2014. A few of the new complexes: Arden Place (Rio Road), The Pavilion at North Grounds (Millmont/UVA), Stonefield Commons (Hydraulic & 29), The Reserve at Belvedere (Rio), the Plaza on West Main (UVA), City Walk (Downtown – more on the Coal Tower). As I said, a lot more apartments will be coming on the market soon.

— And also point out that there are quite a few new construction neighborhoods in the City of Charlottesville that offer true walkability for those wiling to live that urban lifestyle (and can afford to do so).

— And that buying a car just isn’t a desired option for a lot of millennials; many of them want the urban lifestyle (and often that means renting rather than buying):

Economic realities: The costs of owning a car just keep increasing. A 2012 AAA study found the expense of having a car totaled $8,946 annually on average, nearly 2 percent more than the previous year. As transportation alternatives increase, the desire to own your own car diminishes. You’ve got I-Gocar sharing and Zipcar. I love Zipcar’s slogan – it says it all for this generation: “The car for people who don’t want one.” There are also shared ride programs, company-provided transportation plans and the old reliables: biking and walking. The Gen Y stats (16- to 34-year-olds) are pretty impressive: Driving was down from 2001 to 2009 (23 percent), biking was up (24 percent) and walking was up (16 percent), according to the National Household Travel Survey.


Related reading:

Where Are the Walkable Neighborhoods in Charlottesville/Albemarle? (2008)
Charlottesville is the 3rd Most Walkable City in Virginia (2010)
Choosing Where you Want to Live in Charlottesville -Walkability and Safety Top the List (2013)
Walkability=Affordability= Profitability=Livability (2009)

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1 Comment

  1. Simon Campbell August 15, 2013 at 13:30

    I have to agree with the fact that the trend is changing from a demand of living in the suburbs to more urban residences. It seems that people are tired of the long commute each day and are willing to sacrifice a yard and the joys of home maintenance to more urban dwellings. This higher demand is bound to create a price difference.


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