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Report: Home values performed 42% better near public transportation

Posted on March 21, 2013

During the last recession, residential property values performed 42% better, on average, if they were located near public transportation with high-frequency service, according to a new study released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the National Association of Realtors.

"When homes are located near public transportation, they are among the most valuable and desirable in the area," said APTA President/CEO Michael Melaniphy. "This study shows that consumers are choosing neighborhoods with high-frequency public transportation because it provides access to up to five times as many jobs per square mile as compared to other areas in a given region. Other attractive amenities in these neighborhoods include lower transportation costs, walkable areas and robust transportation choices."

The study, “The New Real-Estate Mantra: Location near Public Transportation,” investigates how well residential properties located in a half-mile proximity to high-frequency public transportation or in the "public transit shed" have performed in holding their value during the recession compared to other properties in a given region.

While residential property values declined substantially between 2006 and 2011, properties close to public transit showed significantly stronger resiliency. For example in Boston, residential property in the rapid transit area outperformed other properties in the region by an incredible 129%.

Meanwhile in the Chicago public transit area, home values performed 30% better than the region; in San Francisco, 37%; Minneapolis-St Paul, 48%; and in Phoenix, 37%.

The study looked at five regions, which illustrate the types of high-frequency public transit systems throughout the U.S. High-frequency public transportation includes subway, light rail and bus rapid transit. This sample accurately projects the nationwide average (42%) variance among properties located near high-frequency public transportation and those that are located further away from public transit.

"Stable property values in areas with public transit access have a number of policy implications," said Melaniphy. "As Congress and state and local governments look for ways to accelerate economic growth, this study shows that investing in public transportation is a boon to revitalizing our economy."

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