Neighborhoods located within a half-mile of public transit services outperformed those in areas farther from public transit based on a number of factors, according to a report released today by the American Public Transportation Association(link is external) and the National Association of Realtors®. Highlighted is the critical role public transportation plays in determining real estate values, revealing that commercial and residential real estate market sales thrive when residents have mobility options close by.
The report explored seven metropolitan regions – Boston; Hartford; Los Angeles; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Phoenix; Seattle; and Eugene, OR – that provide access to heavy rail, light rail, commuter rail and bus rapid transit. Residential properties within these areas had 4-24% higher median sale prices between 2012 and 2016, the report found. Commercial property near public transit also witnessed value gains in the studied cities, where four of the regions saw median sales prices per square foot increase between 5-42%.
Transportation costs in transit-oriented areas are significantly lower than in other regions, with an average annual savings of $2,500 to $4,400 for the typical household. One in four households in close proximity to transit does not own a vehicle, according to the study.
The seven sample areas were examined by residential and commercial sales performance, rent, neighborhood characteristics, local government interventions and housing affordability.
“Public transit’s benefits go beyond moving people from point A to point B,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “Public transportation is a valuable investment in our communities, our businesses, and our country. Public transportation gets people to jobs and educational opportunities and helps businesses attract employees and customers.”
“Access to public transportation is an extremely valuable community amenity that increases the functionality and attractiveness of neighborhoods, making nearby communities more desirable places to live, work and raise a family,” said NAR 2019 First Vice President Charlie Oppler, who spoke at Monday’s press conference along with 2019 New York State Association of Realtors® President Moses Seuram. “The results of our report, conducted over multiple years alongside the American Public Transportation Association, should reiterate to policymakers at all levels of government the importance of investing in modern, efficient infrastructure that facilitates growth and helps our nation keep pace in a rapidly evolving world.”
Neighborhoods with high-frequency public transportation are in high demand. While property values and rents have risen, contributing to healthy local economies, the rapidly increasing demand for housing near public transit has resulted in constrained housing supplies.
“As the conversation surrounding housing affordability continues, public transportation agencies are critical allies in working with elected officials and community leaders in the effort to increase housing opportunities and maximize value around stations,” said Skoutelas.