LOCAL "PROXIMITY ASSETS" DRIVE AN INCREASE IN SALES....A Look At The Facts About The NEED For Proximity in today's real estate market...
A few months back the Wall Street Journal ran an article about the latest real estate trend for purchases of homes within walking distance to shops, groceries, drugstores and other places: Wall Street Journal Article: Home Buyers Look For Homes Within Walking Distance To Everything!
In that article it was noted that the most promising areas for a housing recovery are those areas within close proximity to the needs of the homeowner. It states the following: "A walkable neighborhood doesn't necessarily have to be in the city center. And it doesn't have to be more expensive".
Just what is an important "Proximity Asset"?... and what is the key to being the most sought after amenity when it comes time to look for a new home? Is it a practical asset i.e., a grocery, a bookstore..theater???
Here is a list of some of those amenities that home buyers are looking for when they shop for a home today:
COMMON PROXIMITY ASSETS:
- Groceries in most residential areas
- Schools, public and private
- Shops including drugstores in most residential ares
- Movie theater is extraneous but an asset if nearby
- Walking trails
- Community tennis another asset if nearby
- Community playground
- Community Basket ball court
- Skating rink, Bowling Ally and other public entertainment
- Beach in a resort area
So, you ask: Why should I pay attention to this trend?
As real estate professionals, we are the single most important source of local information for the buying public and in these times, buyers need our wealth of knowledge more than ever. Since we are usually the first source that a buyers looks to for location information, we can help to build our business savvy by informing the buyers of an area's "Proximity Assets" and letting them know the distance to each.
"But I already do tell my buyers about 'assets' that an area offers!" you say--I do too, but now I focus on the idea of "proximity" more than ever...and it pays off big time. There are shops and restaurants and playgrounds and walking trails that the buyer doesn't get to hear about until they have moved into an area...after all we are in the business of real estate not guided tours!
This "Proximity Asset" trend started with the recession in '08 and '09 and it is building as far as I can tell. Here in Southampton Village we are seeing huge growth in residential real estate. The year round part of the demographic has exploded since the events of 9/11/2001 and the housing crash in '08.
Most of the new year round families have settled into their second homes, giving up their city digs and have made a move that is life altering to say the least.
Many of these families downsized in the city, commuting and keeping a small studio for the workng parent to use as the rest of the family remains in the Hamptons for the year.
Southampton Village proper was 50% residential and 50% Village business/commercial in the past and now it is more like 80%--20% residential to business. This balance has swung significantly toward residential as the desirability of Southampton Village has grown and has become a place for young families to settle year round. Why? There is the Library, the theater, parks, playgrounds, walking trails, beaches in addition to the world class restaurants and shops located right in the heart of the Village.
Another part of this trend is the smaller, stand alone communities that have grown in popularity over the years. These small communities here in the Hamptons happen to be on the Great Peconic Bay, which is North of Southampton Village: North Sea Beach Colony, Southampton Shores, North Hampton Colony and many more private communities dot the coastline of the Great Peconic Bay and other waterways that connect to the Bay.
Some of these communities were founded in the early 20th century, as is the North Sea Beach Colony and North Hampton Colony--both founded in 1915. Then, there was a ground swell of families in the 1950's from New York City, Connecticut and New Jersey who were pulled to the Bay area because of the affordability. North of the Highway is what it is called here. South of the Highway offers the famous Atlantic ocean beaches--and much pricier properties.
These small communities offer tennis, pavilion, nature trail, marina and many other amenities that the members of the community can use for a small annual fee of around $250. The common areas are usually easy to care for with a focus on the water (beaches and marinas) as the big draw.
Below is a new Real Estate Show that I just made for a new listing in Southampton Shores and here is a link to their website: www.mysouthamptonshores.com This show below may give you an idea of how these small communities have grown in popularity with the recession and as home buyers seek out the available, more affordable houses to renovate or tear down and build new! http://www.realestateshows.com/644559
As we continue to see an increase in home buying (I hope!) the "Proximity Assets" will become more and more important to the buying public.
EVERY AREA HAS "PROXIMITY ASSETS"--WHAT ARE THE ASSETS IN YOUR COMMUNITY?