The National Association of Realtors
asked Belden Russonello & Stewart LLC to update
research done in 2004 on Americans’ preferences regarding the communities in which they live.
There have been major changes in the economy and the housing market since the 2004Community Preference Survey was conducted. Property values have dropped significantly inmany areas, foreclosures are at record highs, and fluctuating gas prices have made longcommutes more costly. This research explores
how Americans’ preferences
regardingcommunities and housing have changed over the last seven years. The research coverscharacteristics consumers are looking for in a community, the reality of their currentcommunities, and what policies they would support to improve their communities in the future.The 2011 BRS/NAR Community Preference Survey is a web-enabled survey of adults nationwideusing the Knowledge Networks panel. Knowledge Networks uses probability methods to recruitits panel, allowing results to be generalized to the population of adults in the U.S. A total of 2,071 questionnaires were completed from February 15 to 24, 2011. The data have beenweighted by gender, age, race, region, metropolitan status, and Internet access. The margin of sampling error for the sample of 2,071 is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points at the 95% levelof confidence. A detailed methodology can be found in Appendix A.Prior to the survey, two focus group discussions were held in Northern Virginia on January 6,2011 with residents of urban and suburban areas. The groups were conducted to informchanges to the questionnaire and to incorporate how attitudes on housing and communitieshave changed over the seven years since the previous survey. Several quotes from the focusgroups are included to provide context in this report.In reading this report, tables and graphs in the text highlight selected survey findings and areexpressed in percentages. The base for each table is all respondents (n=2,071) unless otherwise
noted. Due to weighting, rounding, omission of “don’t know,” “refuse,” or other responses,
percentages may add to more or less than 100%.This report contains an executive summary, followed by detailed findings that examine publicattitudes toward:
Where we are now: Views of current communities and housing
Where we want to be: Priorities
Making ChangesThe final chapter of the report examines the attitudes of key groups, such as young singles,African-American and Latino families, and prospective homebuyers.