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Coldwell Banker Real Estate Survey Finds Spike in Gas Prices is Impacting Where Home Buyers Choose to Live

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RISMEDIA, May 20, 2011—The high cost of gasoline is not just emptying wallets; it is also impacting where consumers choose to buy a home. According to a new Coldwell Banker survey among its network of real estate professionals, 75 percent said that the recent spike in gas prices has influenced their clients’ decisions on where to live, and 93 percent said if gas prices continue to rise, more home buyers will choose to live somewhere that allows for a closer commute to their work.

The Desire to Be Close to Work, or Work from Home

Out of those who said gas prices affect where consumers want to live, being closer to work was the leading consideration.

• Drive time and racking up miles en-route to the office caused 89 percent to say buyers look for homes closer to work. Forty-five percent are seeing buyers choose homes closer to shops and services as a result of increasing gas prices.

• Some buyers are skipping the commute altogether. More than three quarters of the real estate professionals surveyed (77 percent) said more buyers today are interested in having a home office compared to five years ago, and 68 percent of those respondents said they believe the high cost of gas contributes to this new work from home trend.

• Currently, there are more than 25,000 homes available on coldwellbanker.com that include “office” as part of the listing description.

“The decision to buy a home has always been tailored around the personal, multi-faceted lifestyle needs of each buyer,” says Jim Gillespie, CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate. “Today, rising fuel costs and a person’s decision to commute or perhaps work remotely are additional factors of the decision home buyers must consider.”

An Increased Interest in Urban Living

One trend continuing to rise in popularity, partly because of the gas price phenomenon, is the interest in urban living.

• Fifty-six percent of the real estate professionals surveyed said that they are seeing more home buyers interested in urban living compared to five years ago.
• Of the subset that recognized this trend, 93 percent strongly agreed or agreed that one reason is an increased interest in shorter commutes.
• Eighty-one percent of these respondents also strongly agreed or agreed that the desire to reduce spending on gas is a factor.

According to those who have seen an increased interest in urban living, other reasons behind this trend are:

• Having everything at your fingertips (91 percent strongly agreed or agreed)
• Being able to walk to places (76 percent strongly agreed or agreed)
• Being near public transportation (52 percent strongly agreed or agreed)

For more information visit www.coldwellbanker.com.

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