High Gas Prices Trigger Changes in Buyer
Behavior

The rise in gas prices is
influencing buyer decisions as they shop for a new home, causing more buyers to
make short commutes and home offices a top priority, according to a new Coldwell
Banker survey of more than 1,000 of its real estate professionals about buyer
trends.

Seventy-five percent of the real
estate professionals surveyed say the spike in gas prices is influencing their
clients’ decisions on where to live. What’s more, if gas prices continue to
increase, 93 percent predict that even more buyers will choose to live somewhere
closer to their work.

Gas prices are
topping $4 a gallon and higher, and are up about 30 percent over last year,
which is starting to put a dent in many Americans’
pocketbook.

More real estate professionals
also report that the rise in gas prices is prompting more buyers to look for
homes that will allow them to work-from-home. Indeed, 77 percent of those
surveyed say that more of their buyers are showing an interest in having a home
office compared to five years ago.

Gas
prices also seem to be spiking a renewed interest in urban living. More than
half of real estate professionals surveyed say they are seeing more buyers
wanting to target homes in urban areas compared to five years ago, citing
shorter commute times, being able to walk to more places, and being near public
transportation as the most likely reasons for the urban-area migration.

More buyers are also choosing homes
closer to shops and services due to the increase in gas prices, according to the
survey.

Source: “Coldwell Banker Real Estate Survey Finds
Spike in Gas Prices Is Impacting Where Home Buyers Choose to
Live,”
 MarketWire (May 18, 2011) and
“In Consumer Behavior, Signs of Gas Price
Pinch,”
The New York Times (May 17,
2011)

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