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Urban Redevelopment Creates Walkable Home Communities

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The urban lifestyle has become more popular, not just for the young, business and career driven set, but also for the retirement-age generation. People want to be where everything is within walking distance and the urban redevelopment market is paying attention.

Brandywine Homes and other real estate developers are answering the call, building apartments for the demand of walkable urban communities.

At a recent meeting of Realtors from around the U.S., the hot topic was the development of commercial real estate for communities with multi-family buildings. People, young and not-so-young, want to walk to restaurants, theater and shopping.

According to studies that came from the meeting, walkable residential communities generate four times the tax revenue compared to regional and business malls, bringing more value to the area.

Urban regions have a 41 percent higher Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over non-walkable regions, reported Christopher Leinberger, professor at George Washington University School of Business .

While prices for apartments in walkable areas are higher than those just on the edge of the city, the center-city communities are inherently more affordable. Individuals living in walkable areas usually spend about 43 percent of their income on housing and transportation, as opposed to those living in non-walkable areas, who spend about 48 percent. 

Baby Boomer Migration Into The City

According to Emerging Trends in Real Estate, baby boomers are selling their houses to rent apartments within walking distance of downtown areas or moving into centers for active seniors. Brandywine Homes is keeping an eye on this movement and working to meet the demand.

Retired, Active Apartment Complexes 

Baby boomers are not retiring the way their parents did. This generation is still going strong and moving into a third or fourth career. They want to stay where the action is and have freedom from house maintenance.

Another strong source of demand for walkable, urban areas are the young, career minded business set who have a preference for living in a city.  This generation is less likely to buy their own homes, according to America in 2013: A ULI Survey of Views on Housing, Transportation, and Community.

The study indicated that 54 percent of two-career couples rented their primary residence in 2013, compared with 32 percent of all adults in the United States.

Also, 69 percent of two-earner couples who are likely to move within 5 years expect to rent, compared with 25 percent of all adults. While at the same time, baby boomers are selling their homes and moving to rental properties within walking distance of downtown areas. Some, but fewer, are moving to communities for active seniors.

If you would like more information about Brandywine Homes, and our vibrant communities in walkable areas, please contact us.