Access to transit can add value to a home, according to a recent Redfin study of more than one million homes sold between January 2014 and April 2016. The data reveal that, on average, a single-point increase in Transit Score, Redfin’s measure of how accessible a location is to public transportation, could boost a home’s price by 0.6%, or $2,040.
The relationship between proximity to transit and home price varied by market. On one end of the spectrum, homes in traffic-burdened Atlanta showed a 1.13% premium of $1,901. Boston saw a 1.10% premium, or $3,585. Meanwhile, car-loving Orange County, CA, was in the red, with a -0.03% premium.
- Redfin noted that in a survey of 1,300 recent homebuyers, one in five said they regret not putting more weight on commute times when conducting their home search.
Regardless of whether they prefer urban or suburban communities, buyers are increasingly craving walkability and are desiring locations closer to transit, which could be fueling the price premiums revealed by Redfin. In a June 2015 report, the Urban Land Institute reported that 52% of all Americans and 63% of millennials desire living situations in which they don’t have to rely on a car often.
These trends are driving transit-oriented development. Well-executed TOD “connects transit to desirable places to live, work and visit that feature amenities like entertainment venues, parks, retail, restaurants, an improved pedestrian environment and diverse housing choices,” according to the Federal Transit Administration.
A recent study by the American Public Transportation Association found that millennials, in particular, are multimodal, willing to vary their transportation methods based on their destination and task at hand. Therefore, the APTA concludes, communities with several transportation options are likely to be attractive to those renters and buyers.
Some recent TOD projects of note include Gilbane’s Riverfront, an 18.5-acre mixed-use project located on the Washington, DC area’s Metro rail line in Hyattsville, MD, and featuring 183 townhomes and 300 multifamily rental units; Hawaii’s first TOD, a mixed-use high rise in Honolulu called Manaolana Place; and Alto, a development of 70 affordable units in metro Denver. Alto is one of the first projects in what could become a transit-oriented district around the recently completed Westminster Station on the B-Line commuter rail to downtown Denver.
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