All the way back in 2014, an interesting report was released that examined the topic of urban sprawl and how it can negatively impact quality of life. In short, the data collected by researchers suggested people living in cities with a larger and/or growing urban sprawl tend to experience higher living costs, shorter life expectancies, lower economic mobility, and even an increased risk of obesity and diabetes.
The measuring stick for determining which cities are the most sprawling and which cities are the most dense was based on a “sprawl index score,” which used four primary factors to generate results: development density, land use mix, activity centering (how dense a city’s downtown is in relation to surrounding areas), and street accessibility.
Unfortunately for those of us living in Music City, Nashville ranked as one of the Top 5 most sprawling cities back then, with Hickory, N.C., Atlanta, GA, Clarksville, TN-KY, and Prescott, AZ the only cities in the country with a higher sprawl index score.
But since 2014, some might say both the attitude of local home buyers and the strategy of local developers has changed, and the ease of living downtown and all the conveniences associated with it have encouraged more and more development to shift to Nashville’s urban core.
Referenced in a recent piece in The Tennessean, many active buyers today love the vibrance and diversity you experience when living in the city—something that’s notably absent in many of Nashville’s suburbs. For others, all the problems directly associated with urban sprawl are the primary reasons why downtown living is more attractive today, as the reliance of cars, the longer commuter times, and the lack of walkability are generally all avoidable when opting for a home or condo in one of Nashville’s many desirable neighborhoods that are close to downtown.
One challenge facing many home buyers today, however, is Nashville’s increasingly limited inventory, which has not only increased competition among buyers but also continues to drive home prices up in just about every residential category. But with the holidays traditionally a slower time for the market, November, December, and January may just be the perfect time to find a great new place to live in beautiful Nashville, TN.