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How Walkability Affects the Value of a Home

Most homebuyers pay almost a quarter more for homes in areas that are more walkable, but that’s less than in previous years. In most U.S. cities, homes that are within walking distance of schools, grocery stores, shopping centers and other amenities sell for an average of 23.5% more than homes that are in cities that are car-dependent. 


The top three walkable cities are New York City, NY; San Francisco, CA; and Boston, MA. Homes in walkable cities are a hot commodity, however, in 2016 homes in walkable areas sold 25.8% more than homes in more car-dependent areas. 


This percentage drop can be tied to the importance of the affordability of a home. Properties which are more affordable are growing in demand and price, many of which are located in car-dependent cities. There are less and less people who can afford homes in walkable neighborhoods. Many homebuyers would sacrifice walkability for an affordable single-family home in a car-dependent neighborhood.


Home sale prices have been steadily increasing in car-dependent areas compared to walkable areas since 2018. Prices of homes in car-dependent neighborhoods increased by 4.3% to a median of $312,100, compared with a 2.3% annual increase in walkable locations.    


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 analyzed. Boston is one of the most walkable metros in America. Parking in Boston tends to be very limited and expensive, so many residents choose to live near public transportation. Not only that, Boston’s public transportation system is great compared to other cities, which makes it very easy to get around the city without a car. 


Most homebuyers mention walkability as one of their top priorities. Homebuyers want to be able to do day-to-day errands without the need of a car. However, this may mean homebuyers will have to pay more money for a home due to the increase in demand or choose a more car-dependent neighborhood.