South Coast Metro
South Coast Metro is one of the most walkable urban areas of Orange County, and is growing in popularity among homebuyers, including millennials. Photo by Josh Hanson and used with permission.

When you look for a new home, you may feel like its most important amenity is its school districts, or its square footage, or whether or not it has a big kitchen. But walkability?

Yup, it turns out that millennials—or the generation aged 16 to 34—”prefer walking over driving by a substantially wider margin than any other generation,” according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors and the Transportation Research and Education Center at Portland State University.

When it comes to housing, this means they “prefer living in attached housing, living within walking distance of shops and restaurants, and having a short commute, and are the most likely age group to make use of public transportation,” the report said.

But millennials aren’t the only ones who are attracted to walkability. In fact, the report found that “Americans prefer walkable communities more so than they have in the past. Forty-eight percent of respondents reported that they prefer to live in communities containing houses with small yards but within easy walking distance of the community’s amenities, as opposed to living in communities with houses with large yards but they have to drive to all amenities.”

What does this mean for Orange County?

Orange County is a place that’s always been known for its urban sprawl and suburbs—but there are pockets of Orange County where urban living and walkability are real options, and these areas are gaining in popularity among home buyers.

One area includes South Coast Metro, or the region of Santa Ana and Costa Mesa immediately surrounding South Coast Plaza, which is home to hundreds of employment centers and some of the finest shopping and dining in the world.

Millennials’ desire for walkability is also something that builders can take into consideration when they are building their new communities, such as those in Tustin Marketplace and the area surrounding Angel Stadium.

If you are the kind of person who prefers walkability over any other home amenity, give me a call. I am well-versed in the South Coast Metro area and have owned property myself there for many years.

As always, please feel free to give me a call anytime at (714) 348-4000 or email me at

Related posts:

Report: Now may be the time to cash out on your home

Report: Orange County housing market hot and healthy

Homes are selling like hotcakes


About the author

Sean Dezahd

Sean Dezahd


I was born and raised in Orange County, went to high school at Newport Harbor High School and college at UC Irvine, and have been in the real estate business since 1996. I currently live in Laguna Hills with my wife and daughter. I look forward to working with you!

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