CNU Releases Report on Philadelphia-Area Housing Prices

New Research Highlights the Resiliency of Home Prices in Walkable, Urban Areas

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In a report commissioned by the Congress for the New Urbanism, University of Pennsylvania economist Kevin Gillen analyzes the stability of Philadelphia-area home prices from 2007-2012 as they correlate to walkable, urban neighborhoods versus exurban, auto-centric locales.

His findings?

In a reversal of trends from past recessions, walkable, urban neighborhoods have weathered the recent housing crisis better than their sprawling counterparts.Using detailed geographic modeling and regression analysis, Gillen illustrates how neighborhoods with core tenets of New Urbanism - walkable streets in mixed commercial-residential, transit-accesible and socioeconomically diverse communities - have retained their value more so than suburban and exurban areas. While the Philadelphia region as a whole suffered negative price movement due to the recession, homes located near downtowns and town centers with a balanced mix of residential and commercial dwellings declined significantly less than the average home for the entire region.

Gillen's report provides proof of the unique structural conditions of the past recession - i.e., the resiliency of home prices in dense, walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods - and offers valuable evidence for policy prescriptions, such as those advocated by CNU'sLive/Work/Walk: Removing Obstacles to Investment initiative, as the housing market continues its recovery.