(NASDAQ: RDFN) -- In U.S. cities, homes 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 new report from Redfin (www.redfin.com).
To determine how much walkability is worth when buying or selling a house, Redfin looked at sale prices and Walk Score(R) rankings for nearly 1 million homes sold last year across 16 major U.S. metropolitan areas and two Canadian cities.
About a quarter of active Redfin listings are considered walkable, or have a Walk Score ranking of 50 to 100, although only about 4% are a walker's paradise, or have a Walk Score of 90 and above. While house hunters are willing to spend more for walkability, the premium they've paid for properties in this category has slipped 2.3% since the last time Redfin conducted this report, in 2016, when such homes in the U.S. sold for 25.8% more than car-dependent ones.
"The premium drop is tied to affordability. 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."
Home-sale prices have been rising faster in car-dependent areas than in walkable places since September 2018, according to a 2019 Redfin report. Prices in car-dependent neighborhoods climbed 4.3% year over year in July to a median of $312,100, compared with a 2.3% annual increase in walkable locations, the data showed.
The results for this report differed by metro area. In Boston, walkability increased the value of a home by 29%, or $140,724, the highest premium in dollar terms of all of the U.S. regions we 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 standalone parking spots sell for six figures in some neighborhoods," said Redfin Boston team manager April Itano. "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."
In Oakland, however, walkable homes sold for 1.3% less, or $9,477, than car-dependent homes. The benefits of walkability have also changed over time. In 2016, Atlanta garnered the highest walkability premium--38%--of any metro area. In 2019, it boasted a 30.2% premium. That's still the highest of all areas Redfin analyzed in percentage terms, but it also marks the largest premium drop. Meanwhile, Tampa saw the biggest boost, with an increase of 6.3% since 2016.
Here are the 2019 price premiums for walkable homes, broken down by region:
Location Premium for Premium for Change in Walk Score Percentage of Walkable Walkable Walkable Premium Homes Deemed Homes (%) Homes ($) (2016-2019) Walkable Atlanta, GA 30.2% $74,741 -7.9% 48 11% Boston, MA 29.0% $140,724 2.9% 82 37% Chicago, IL 8.5% $21,716 -2.6% 77 46% Dallas, TX 6.9% $19,309 1.1% 46 18% Denver, CO 7.4% $30,790 -2.0% 61 28% Houston, TX 16.9% $39,703 2.3% 48 17% Los Angeles, CA 5.8% $34,583 0.7% 68 52% Minneapolis, MN 4.8% $13,257 -0.4% 70 20% Oakland, CA -1.3% -$9,477 1.0% 74 37% Phoenix, AZ 3.2% $9,067 -0.7% 41 17% Riverside, CA 3.0% $11,387 -0.6% 42 12% San Diego, CA 10.5% $60,225 -0.3% 51 29% Seattle, WA 15.7% $86,331 -0.1% 74 32% St. Louis, MO 9.2% $17,196 -1.8% 65 21% Tampa, FL 18.1% $41,604 6.3% 49 20% Toronto* 15.8% $98,631 0.2% 71 89% Washington, DC 24.9% $102,166 0.3% 76 31% Vancouver* 29.5% $265,421 N/A 78 96%
To read the full report, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/blog/how-much-does-walkability-increase-home-values
About Redfin Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a technology-powered real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer's favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country's #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry's lowest published error rate for listed homes. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 85 major metro areas across the U.S. and Canada. The company has closed more than $85 billion in home sales.
For more information or to contact a local Redfin real estate agent, visit www.redfin.com. To learn about housing market trends and download data, visit the Redfin Data Center. To be added to Redfin's press release distribution list, subscribe here. To view Redfin's press center, click here.
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