Public Transportation Accessibility Boosts Residential Property Values

A new study commissioned by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) found that residential property values are 41.6 percent higher on average when the property is located near high-frequency public transportation. The NAR and APTA concluded that “the findings support investment in transit and encourage development in location efficient areas. The presence of fixed-guideway transit not only benefits individual property owners, it also supports a more resilient tax base.”

This news comes on the heels of reports that the national housing market is making a comeback. According to the Detroit Free Press, this is housing rebound is in spite of continued rising oil prices.


2006-2011 Percent change in average residential sales prices, Transit Shed vs. Non-Transit Area; Image: APTA & NAR

The NAR/APTA study looked at five US metropolitan regions with high-frequency public transit service: Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Phoenix. In each region, they examined the “public transit shed”, the area within a half-mile of a public transit line.

Of the five regions, Boston saw the most exceptional boost in property values, performing 129 percent better than areas outside the public transit shed.

Jobs per square mile and monthly transportation cost savings per property were also examined in the study. On average, there were 2.4 times as many jobs in the five regions’ transit sheds, and transit shed residents saved $299 per month on transportation costs compared to areas outside the transit sheds.

Commenting on the results of the NAR/APTA study, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said, “When consumers choose a home, they also choose a lifestyle. Shorter commutes and more walkable neighborhoods matter to a growing number of people, especially those living in congested metro areas.”

Higher property values, more local jobs, and increased savings on transportation costs are all strong selling points in a new home. With the new Regional Transit Authority (RTA) in southeast Michigan, a new bus rapid transit (BRT) system set to be completed in the Grand Rapids metro area by 2015, the expansion of high-speed rail (HSR) in Michigan, and record rail ridership in Michigan our state is well positioned to capitalize on this opportunity.

In the words of APTA President, Michael Meliphy, “When homes are located near public transportation, it is the equivalent of creating housing as desirable as beach front property.”

By: Dan Sommerville, Transportation For Michigan Fellow


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