Home values in walkable neighborhoods outpace suburban housing

May 29, 2012 01:30PM

The desire for suburban, auto-oriented housing that left many of America’s urban areas in the dust, is now being replaced by an appetite for those very pedestrian-friendly locations, according to an article in the New York Times by Christopher Leinberger, who co-authored the Brookings Institute study on the subject with Mariela Alfonzo.

The study found that prices for housing in walkable areas are now higher, per square foot, than they are in areas without as many nearby amenities and that a property’s value increases in direct proportion to its walkability (note: correction appended). According to a five-step walkability index in the study, ranking how easy it is to commute, shop and accesses major infrastructure by foot, the average home value increases nearly $82 per square foot for each step up the index. The value appreciation holds true for annual office rents, which jump $9 per square foot, retail rents, which rise $7 per square foot, and apartment rents, which grow over $300 per month.

In walkable areas the household income is approximately $10,000 higher on average and the percentage of that income spent on housing also increases. These datapoints are grabbing the attention of landlords and developers, who are now catering to, and investing in, walkable neighborhoods on a greater scale. [NYT]