Higher the Walkability, Higher the Home Value

June 5, 2012

A new study by the Brookings Institution found that the walkability of urban areas has a direct impact on real estate values and rents. 

Using Washington, D.C., as a test case, the report identified five levels or steps in walkability.  For every step up the walkability ladder, the price per square foot jumps more than $300 on average for apartment rents, versus $82 for house values, $9 for annual office rents, and $7 for retail rents.  Moreover, with each step up the ladder, the average household income climbs $10,000. 

Brookings senior fellow Christopher Leinberger says both city centers and suburbs are seeing an increase in demand for walkable space, noting that over half of walkable places in the Washington, D.C., area are in the suburbs.  He says, "This trend is about both the revitalization of center cities and the urbanization of the suburbs."  He adds that encouraging construction of more walkable places is a long-term solution to the affordability challenge, noting that it is cheaper on a usable square foot basis to build walkable urban infrastructure than drivable suburban infrastructure.

Source: "Now Coveted: A Walkable, Convenient Place" New York Times (05/25/12)

(c) Copyright 2012 Information, Inc.

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