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What do New Yorkers want when searching for a home?

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Max Touhey

Not bike infrastructure, apparently. But low crime rates and good light are a must.

As the number of cyclists killed on city streets this year continues to climb, efforts to strengthen bike infrastructure have become a priority for city officials and lawmakers. Landmark legislation and a plan to roll out miles of new bike lanes and retime traffic signals are geared toward making streets safer for bikers who brave the road.

Perhaps because of the two-decade peak in cyclist deaths—28 as of Saturday morning—new data shows that living in a bike-friendly neighborhood is not high on the list of priorities for renters and buyers searching for a home on Localize.city. Even fewer New Yorkers who used the platform since its May launch through the end of October want to bike to work.

Those who search for homes on Localize.city can filter through listings not just by neighborhoods but based on their actual priorities, including things like having a sunny home, being close to a dog run, or living in a highly rated school district. The platform’s data analysts reviewed more than 500,000 searches and found that just 13 percent of users sought homes in “bike-friendly” areas with infrastructure to support two wheelers. If you break that down into renters versus buyers, 11 percent and 18 percent, respectively, searched for homes in bike-friendly neighborhoods.

Of those who selected a preference for a mode of transportation, biking came in last at a mere 2 percent of users. Public transit dominated with 71 percent of searchers, followed by cars at 17 percent and walking at 11 percent. Regardless of whether users aimed to rent or buy, biking to work was a similarly low priority. To put that into perspective, just over 7 percent of New York’s households are millionaires, meaning you are three times as likely to bump into a millionaire on the street than you are to a bike commuter.

Conversely, the majority of home seekers—73 percent—were keen to find an abode in an area with a low crime rate followed by 54 percent searching for a home with good light and 41 percent looking to land on a tranquil street, data shows. Home buyers were twice as likely to prioritize highly-rated school districts and are 50 percent more likely to search by proximity to parks than renters, though the top three search priorities remained the same among renters and buyers.



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