Walkability translates into increased home values. You will continue to see a walk score as a marketing tool in selling homes. Homes located in a more walkable neighborhood, where everyday needs, can be met by walking, public transportation or biking, command a price premium over otherwise similar homes in less walkable areas.
People who live in more walkable places tend to earn more, but they also tend to pay a higher percentage of their income for housing. In May 2012, the New York Times Sunday Review article by Christopher Leinberger stated that “In metropolitan Seattle in 1996, the suburban Redmond area, home to Microsoft, had the same price per square foot as Capitol Hill, a walkable area adjacent to downtown, based on data from Zillow. Today, Capitol Hill is valued nearly 50 percent above Redmond.”
Clearly, people will pay more for homes that allow them to walk rather than drive. The popular website www.WalkScore.com just added a Bike Score to let potential buyers know which neighborhoods are more bikeable. There is also a Transit score to determine how close a home is to public transportation. In my business, I am seeing more buyers flock back to the city after their kids are grown. They talk about the energy it gives off, the culture and the walkability. Not only is it the young buyers who want to walk to amenities, but retirees as well. A home in a walkable location is highly desirable! What is your home’s walk score?
Anita Italiane Hearl | Windermere Real Estate Company