Coldwell Banker recently surveyed its sales associates to evaluate the effect of rising gasoline prices on their customers and trends toward urban living with interesting results, company officials say.
According to the survey, to which 903 sales associates from across the country responded, there is a definite trend toward living closer to cities. In fact, 96 percent of the associates reported that the rise in gas and oil prices was of great concern to their clients. Additionally, 78 percent reported that the rise in the cost of gas had them more closely considering the option of urban living.
"Over the past several years, we have seen a boom in downtown living all over the country and this is not just reserved to major cities," says Jim Gillespie, president and chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate. "It is interesting to note that the study showed that 53 percent of our surveyed sales associates have seen an increased interest in urban living, as compared to five years ago."
How does this relate to the Tampa market?
"The trend toward downtown living is alive and well in Tampa," says Cathleen Smith, regional senior vice president of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Tampa Bay. "Locally, while gas prices are increasing, interest in living downtown continues to rise. In addition to saving on fuel costs, proximity to downtown attractions continues to be a popular reason for this trend."
According to the survey, 75 percent of people considering urban living cited the freedom to walk to more places as attractive, while 81 percent wanted to be closer to work. Access to public transportation was an issue for 54 percent, again due to the rise in the cost of fuel.
And while associates asserted in the survey that prospective buyers were becoming more interested in "green" homes to reduce energy costs, only 42 percent believed it was the primary reason for their clients' trend toward urban living.
Coldwell Banker has offices throughout Florida, including in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
For information on buying or selling a home, call 1-800-624-5292 or visit www.floridamoves.com.