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Public Transit Access Linked to Major Boost in Home Values

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A just-released housing and transit study (pdf) has delivered a pretty definitive picture of the cost and value advantages to living in a neighborhood well served by public transit (referred to as "transit sheds"). About two million people, or 23% of the Chicago study region's population, live within a half-mile of a CTA or Metra station. Conventional wisdom suggests a certain amount of transportation savings when more reliant on buses, trains, and streetcars. The study, authored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR), shows this clearly: Chicagoland households in transit sheds spent about 25% less than the regional average to move around between 2006 and 2011 ($775/month vs. $1,074/month). The same study period applied to all measures for all five major metro areas observed.

Average residential sales prices in Chicago's transit sheds outperformed the region by 30%. Given that regional home prices declined by nearly third over this five-year recessionary period, transit sheds succeeded in keeping home values pretty stable. And access to jobs in transit sheds was twice what it is region-wide— an expected result of mixing uses and hiking density. The study involved a seven-county area and Metra, PACE, and CTA systems. Prior studies have reinforced these findings by demonstrating that people are generally willing to pay more for housing in "traditional neighborhood developments" and areas governed by New Urbanist principles.
·Report: The New Real Estate Mantra (pdf) [APTA]