Proximity to Transit Linked to Home Value and other Advantages

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What factors do home owners look for when deciding what and where to purchase? As the adage goes, "Location, Location, Location." However, the question is then, location in relation to what? The answer may well be Transit.

Never more apparent that during an economic recession, the real estate market can be a volatile place. However, those properties which are easily accessible to public transportation, regardless of form, weather digs in the market much more gracefully. In fact, recent data indicates that properties within a half mile of a bus stop or train station performed 42 percent better than those properties that were inaccessible. This varies by market, of course, but overwhelmingly true that if you want to make a stable real estate investment, proximity to transit is a strong indicator. As reported by US News, "In Boston, residential property in the rapid transit area outperformed other properties in the region by 129 percent. In the Chicago, public transit area home values performed 30 percent better than the region; in San Francisco, 37 percent; Minneapolis-St Paul, 48 percent; and in Phoenix, 37 percent." 

Besides the obvious advantages of more options for travel and lower cost of transportation when mass transit is nearby, home owners who invested in property near public transit are likely to find also a greater breadth of job opportunities within reach. Those who live in communities which are built up and around transit have access to two and in some cases even three times as many jobs. 

"Investment in public transportation corridors can be a true economic driver," says Michael Melaniphy, president and CEO of the American Public Transportation Association, as quoted by US News. "It's more than just getting people from point A to point B. Cities that have good public transit have on the whole been much more resilient through the backend of this recession — you can't get people back to work if they can't get there."

Mass Transit Use Up Overall, But not Everywhere

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Despite the recent good news that US ridership of public transportation was nearly record-breaking this year, the fact remains that this just isn't true everywhere. While overall usage of mass transit is improving, there are certainly markets within the United States where public transportation isn't even receiving basic care and maintenance, nonetheless being cultivated as an essential part of our communities.

Interestingly, and rather poignantly, many of the areas wherein mass transit failed to thrive were areas where legislation that would have instituted funding measures failed to pass. No one likes paying more taxes, but keeping our communities' infrastructure maintained and supported is crucial to developing neighborhoods that thrive. Sadly, in the cases of cities like Atlanta, Georgia, and Tacoma, Washington, it seems that a passing vote in favor of increases of a mere penny or a fraction of a percentage increase in sales tax would have made the difference. One can only wonder if perhaps similar votes will go differently in communities wherein transit ridership is lagging the next time around, but it seems an obvious guess that without the willingness to put into supporting and renewing our public transit, the system will continue to deteriorate and eventually will fail. For more, read the full article at The Atlantic Cities.