Across the U.S., homes that are built within walking distance of schools, shopping, parks and other urban amenities sell for an average of 23.5%, or $77,668, more than comparable properties that are car-dependent, according to a study. (There’s a similar premium for proximity to public transportation.)
To determine walkability and what it’s worth, Redfin compared sale prices and Walk Score rankings for nearly 1 million homes sold last year across 16 major U.S. metropolitan areas and two Canadian cities.
As it turns out, walkable homes are a hot commodity. Redfin found that only about a quarter of active listings are considered walkable, or have a Walk Score ranking of 50 to 100.
“Properties that are more affordable are seeing the most demand and price growth right now, and homes in less walkable neighborhoods often fall into this category,” Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said. “There just aren’t as many people who can afford walkable neighborhoods. Many house hunters are also willing to move to less walkable neighborhoods in order to get single-family homes.”
For example, in Boston, walkability increased the value of a home by 29%, or $140,724, the highest premium in dollar terms of all regions in the U.S. that were analyzed.
“Boston is very flat, and one of the most walkable cities around. Parking can be difficult, so people often prefer to live near public transportation. We’ve had parking spots sell for six figures in some neighborhoods,” said April Itano, a Redfin Boston team manager. “Our public transportation is great compared to other cities, and it’s pretty easy to get by without a vehicle if you live downtown. We also have a relatively high percentage of residents who prefer to work and live in the city over the suburbs.”