NY Times: Do walkable neighborhoods increase real estate value?
Whether it's streets arranged to form small walkable blocks or mixed-use development designed to make sidewalks a vibrant and welcoming setting for daily interaction, good urbanism is at the heart of every walkable place.
The NY Times Business section took a look at this trend with regard to home values:
"A study published in August by C.E.O.’s for Cities, a group of urban redevelopment advocates, found that in many ways, the street corner beats the cul de sac. It looked at the sales of 90,000 homes in 15 markets to estimate how much value was associated with something called the Walk Score. Using a 100-point scale, this score rates the number of destinations, including libraries, parks and coffee shops, within walking distance of a home...
The study found that houses with above-average Walk Scores commanded a premium. It was as much as $30,000 in cities like Charlotte, N.C., Chicago, Sacramento and San Francisco, wrote Joe Cortright, the study’s author and an economist at Impresa, a consulting firm in Portland, Ore."
Cortright (who spoke at the 2009 CNU Transportation Summit in Portland) contends that "the spike in gasoline prices in 2005 popped the housing bubble. He found that distant suburbs had the largest declines in home values, while prices in 'close in' neighborhoods, typically those that were the most walkable, held up or, in a few cases, increased."
The Times also gets at the equally important question, citing zillow.com data, of whether walkable urbanism holds its value better in a downturn. While the results are not comprehensive, intriguing results point to yes.
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