Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Study shows that walkability adds value to homes

A recent study commissioned by CEOs for Cities indicates that housing prices in areas with amenities within walking distance carry a premium to houses in communities without access to such amenities. Using WalkScore and pricing data for 15 major metropolitan markets, the researchers found a direct correlation between a higher WalkScore rating (indicating more amenities within walking distance) and higher home prices, keeping such things as number of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. constant.

While this comes as no surprise to those of us who have long advocated walkable communities, the press that should be associated with this over the coming days/weeks should serve as additional ammunition to our cause. Not only does a greater degree of walkability aid in the health of residents, it also adds to their pocketbooks. Simply put, more and more people are demanding a lifestyle in which they do not have to be completely tied to their cars. Although many "walkable" areas still require cars for some means of transportation, walkable communities present an option to residents to skip the car for short trips to places in or around the neighborhood. Demand for this lifestyle continues to grow.

It should also be noted that housing values for those areas closer to the city core should return to a "normalized" level much faster than exurban, non-walkable communities. Those areas built upon cheap gas and cheap credit will take much, much longer to return and to become fully developed, as this trend continues. As a result, expect the correlation between walkability and values to continue.


Aaron O. said...

There's a link to the report on the Walkscore blog:

Scott Cullen said...

Thanks for the link, Aaron. I look forward to diving into the full study.