The lives of realtors in metropolitan areas are at a turning point. And I'm NOT talking about a slowing market here. What I'm talking about are our clients' criteria, needs and desires. More and more buyers are weary of the suburbs now, at least the ones that aren't really "close-in." Read on and you'll see what I mean.
A hundred years ago, a "suburb" was a green place to live that could be reached in 15 minutes on a streetcar. Today, make that 1 hour and 15 minutes, and forget about the streetcars -- you're more likely to spend that time in a traffic jam or on a six lane highway.
If that frustation wasn't enough to reverse a trend, the $4+ a gallon might. Anecdotally, we've already seen that many of our buyers rather go for the smaller, older and less handsome home if it puts them closer to where they want to be: work, shopping, and their social life.
The Washington Post picked this up in a remarkable cover story today (click on the headline):
Washington, DC, of course has consistently starred as one of the worst rush hour failures in multi-city studies across the US. But it's also full of smart policy makers. The heated commentaries and debate in the online version of the article attest to the fact that it was right on the money.
As realtors, we will be effected by new trends in housing choices more than anybody else. I'd love to hear what my colleagues from other parts of the country think.