How Much Does Commuting Time and Cost Influence a Home Buyer’s Decision?

If you’re working and looking to buy a home, you naturally consider how long it will take you to get to work, as well as how much you’ll be spending to get there. This new study by NAR shows where Virginia homeowners stand in terms of the average length of their commute, as well as how important distance from work is when considering where to buy.

“Even with lower gas prices, the cost of commuting to and from the office can be pricey (as well as stressful!). But how much does that commute play into the homebuying process? According to research from the National Association of REALTORS®, commuting costs definitely come into play in searching for and purchasing that dream home; in fact, 30 percent of homebuyers purchased homes last year to cut down on commuting costs—a factor they cited as “very important.”

Additionally, 64 percent of buyers bought their home in part because it was convenient to their job; this was so important that 23 percent of those buyers said they compromised on the price of their home to be physically closer to work, making more time for the other important things in their life, such as spending time with friends and family.

Virginia’s average commute time to work in 2014 was 28.1 minutes, a modest increase over 2013 and the seventh highest in the nation. While considerably higher than North Carolina (23.9 minutes) and Tennessee (24.5 minutes), this average is lower than Maryland’s 32.3 minutes. The national average rose slightly to 26.0 minutes. Leading state South Dakota actually saw a drop in its commute length, with an average commute time of 16.7 minutes.”


Source: National Association of Realtors: April, 2016