The Austin Business Journal is running a survey on its website that asks online readers the following question: “Assuming you’re not one of the thousands moving downtown, why don’t you want to make downtown your home?”
While it is not a scientific survey — to say the least — the current results do provide some small insights into the obstacles that developers face in luring residents downtown.
As of the time of this posting, the survey had the following results as to why people choose not to live downtown (see the current results here). Survey says:
44% — Too expensive
19% — I need a yard
16% — Other (no additional details)
7% — Units are too small
6% — Lack of neighborhood services
5% — Traffic
4% — Schools
Here is what is most interesting: the data suggests that 51% of people who don’t want to live downtown (44% who find units too expensive and 7% who find units too small which really means too expensive) would like to live downtown if it was more affordable. Even though just 1% of Austin’s population lives downtown, the idea of downtown living is appealling to a broad segment of the population — at least the population of Austinites that reads the Austin Business Journal online!
The survey suggests that there are few intractable, structural barriors to downtown population growth. While, the 19% of people who need a yard will likely never move into a condo, they key driver for most people in the survey is affordability. As new projects continue to hit the market, it’s good news that lots of people do want to live downtown!