Tompkins Residents Satisfied with Quality of Life

Aug012014

Tompkins Residents Satisfied with Quality of Life

 

ith_cornellonhill120A recent poll of Tompkins County residents conducted by the independent research firm American Strategies shows that Tompkins County residents praise the local quality of life, and that one in three Tompkins County residents are interested in moving to a new home in the next year or two.

The American Strategies survey, commissioned by the Ithaca Board of Realtors® through the National Associations of Realtors®, was conducted in an effort to better understand Tompkins County's housing and transportation needs.

In 2005, the Tompkins County Housing Needs assessment projected a need for approximately 4,000 units in the county by 2014, as the area, with its low unemployment rate and cultural benefits, is one of the few growing counties in the state.

The 400 residents who responded to the phone poll were asked about their housing, transportation, and municipal concerns. The results indicate that residents are generally pleased with the quality of life in Tompkins County, but are concerned about high property taxes; want good public schools; and are looking for safe transportation alternatives.

Eighty-five percent of residents polled said that the quality of life here has been consistently good. Nonetheless, those surveyed said policy makers should place tax burden relief as their number one priority. In addition, the performance of public schools was an important factor. They also said they place a high priority on short commutes, sidewalks, walkability, and public walking spaces.  Other issues of concern to them were jobs, transportation/infrastructure, affordable housing, and the environment.

Of the 34% percent of residents looking to move in the next year or two More than 60% are looking for single-family detached homes:
  • More than 60% are looking for single-family detached homes
    • In 2013 single-family detached homes were the large majority of the residential sales in Tompkins County (83%)
  • 16% are  looking for townhouse or condominiums
    • The difficulty here is that in Tompkins County there were 46 townhouses/condominiums in inventory last year, and none of them within City of Ithaca borders. These properties closed about 25% faster than single family homes that year.
While we occasionally hear grumbling about the traffic in Ithaca, nearly 70% of residents polled said there is not enough traffic to cause concern. Most said they travel by car to work and do not carpool. Of those surveyed 32% use TCAT for travel to work, school, errands, or to get to other destinations. Of those 32%, 88% rated TCAT's performance as "excellent" or "good". When asked why they do not ride TCAT or use the system more frequently, respondents overwhelmingly said there are no obstacles, such as parking, reliability and overcrowding on buses.  Most residents responded that they simply prefer to drive. Almost 80% say that they would not use a park-and-ride option even if it were closer to their homes.

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