Seventy-three percent of Americans highly prioritize access to fresh, healthy foods, according to the Urban Land Institute’s “America in 2015” survey,
That preference is resulting in the emergence of urban "agrihoods" -- residential areas organized around consumers’ desires for fresh, local food, reports Realtor Magazine.
"As the agrihood trend expands, it’s becoming clear many consumers are willing to pay a premium for neighborhood access to fresh food," writes the magazine's Meg White.
Thirty seventy percent of realtors in a recent survey said their clients want access to local food. Another six percent say their clients want their new homes to be near community gardens.
That's an especially interesting finding for Saratoga Springs residents who live near Pitney Meadows Community Farm, given its plan to build a community garden as soon as the Saratoga Springs Planning Board gives its final OK.
A report by the Urban Land Institute's Center for Sustainability, Cultivating Development: Trends and Opportunities at the Intersection of Food and Real Estate, explores the mutually beneficial relationship between food-based amenities—such as working farms, community gardens, food halls, restaurants, and grocery stores—and real estate. Among its findings:
- Small farms are making a comeback after a 70-year decline. They now constitute 88 percent of all farms, account for 47 percent of the value of all farm real estate, and generate 20 percent of agricultural sales.
- As of 2013, 35 percent of all U.S. households were growing food at home or in community gardens—an increase of 17 percent from 2008.
- The U.S. had an estimated 8,669 farmers markets in 2016, a 2.3 percent increase over the year before and a nearly fivefold increase since 1994.
- More than $900 million in funding was granted to more than 29,100 local and regional food entrepreneurs, farms, and ranches by the USDA between 2009 and 2014.