Survey: Affordability key factor in where people choose to live

Even more important than two years ago

A set of questions in PSRC’s 2017 Puget Sound Regional Travel Survey asked about why people choose to live where they do.

Affordability topped the list for people who moved within the past five years, followed by “walkable neighborhood” and “less than 30-minute work commute.”

An identical question was asked in PSRC’s travel survey conducted in 2015. 

In 2015, 80 percent of recent movers said affordability was the top factor.  In 2017, that share increased to 83 percent of recent movers ranking it as the number one factor.  

Chart:  How important were each of these factors in choosing to live where you live now?

While affordability had a greater share in 2017, other factors largely remained at the same level of importance or decreased when compared to 2015. One interpretation is that households are trading off other factors for affordable places to live.

The Puget Sound Regional Household Travel Survey program collects travel and household information from participating households in the central Puget Sound region.

The goal is to obtain a complete picture of travel patterns in the region to produce better plans for the future, and collect real-world data as an input to computer models used for regional planning.

A random sample of the region’s households was invited by mail to participate in the survey that was conducted spring 2017.  They answered questions about general household information, provided their travel details for a given weekday, and answered questions about housing choices, autonomous vehicles, and more.

A total of 3,285 households participated. These households completed 52,492 trips, totaling over 500,000 miles of travel, during the survey period.

More information about the survey program and data from this and past surveys are available on PSRC’s website.