Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Walkability Increases Home Values

The organization CEOs for Cities has released “Walking the Walk: How Walkability Raises Housing Values in U.S. Cities”, which demonstrates that, more than just a pleasant amenity, the walkability of cities translates directly into increases in home values.

The study showed that homes located in more walkable neighborhoods—those with a mix of common daily shopping and social destinations within a short distance—command a price premium over otherwise similar homes in less walkable areas.

The study analyzed data from 94,000 real estate transactions in 15 major markets and found that in 13 of the 15 markets, higher levels of walkability were directly linked to higher home values.

Within the findings is that houses with the above-average levels of walkability command a premium of $4,000 to $34,000 over houses with just average levels of walkability in the typical metropolitan areas studied. This is significant for policy makers as it offers the opportunity to increase local tax base, while at the same time increasing individual wealth by making homes more valuable.

Walking and cities go hand in hand. Sidewalks, streetscapes and destinations all define urban space. The resurgent interest in downtowns and in promoting mixed-use developments throughout metropolitan areas is, in part, driven by recognition of the value of walkability.

This is another example of why Smart Growth, as included in Miami 21, is good for the City of Miami.

Visit the CEOs for Cities website for more information

- Manny