Walkability and home values

The New York Times recently ran a piece discussing how a neighborhood’s “walkability” correlates to higher home values. See Now Coveted: A Walkable, Convenient Place

According to the Brookings Institution study cited in the story, real estate values increase as neighborhoods become more walkable. How much do home values increase? As an example, in the Washington D.C. metro area each step up the walkability ladder [a five-step “ladder” of walkability, from least to most walkable] added nearly $82 per square foot to home values.

Examples of other metro areas (Denver, Seattle, Columbus) where the correlation held true were mentioned. Obviously, it got me to wondering whether such a correlation exists in the Reno-Sparks area.

Unfortunately, I do not have the bandwidth at the moment to conduct such an analysis, but if any enterprising readers out there would like to look into this, I would love to see what you find.

One might begin by using a site such as WalkScore.com to obtain a walkability number (or Walk Score®) for various neighborhoods in the Reno-Sparks area. A Walk Score® is a number between 0 and 100 that measures the walkability of any address.

Then, perhaps, use a site like Zillow.com, and Zilliow’s Zestimates to get a sense of corresponding home values for those areas. And then determine if a correlation exists.

In the meantime, what are your thoughts on this study in regards to the Reno-Sparks real estate market? Does the “walkability” of a neighborhood add value in our area?


About Guy Johnson

I am a licensed Nevada REALTOR® living and working in Reno, Nevada. Give me a call at 775-722-4011. My team and I will be happy to assist you with your real estate needs.
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2 Responses to Walkability and home values

  1. Avatar Zen says:

    FYI Guy, Zillow provides the Walkscore of residential properties near the bottom of the page under Maps & Views when you view a property. I think walkability can bring value to a home. I would tend to think that it would do so more in large metropolitan areas more so than in smaller ones where you can get around easily without long frustrating traffic delays. That said, I think we are starting to see some of this in our area and as long as we continue to grow in population and fuel prices continue to climb, I think we’ll see a lot more. Much of the planning and zoning has already been put in place for reno to grow in a more densified urban environment where we live, work, shop and play without getting in a car, via the old shoe letter express, bikes, or public transit. Now it will just take time, money and a willing consumer to make it happen.

  2. Avatar Guy Johnson says:

    Zen, thank you for the FYI on Zillow providing the Walkscore for properties. That’s good to know.
    I too agree that we’re starting to see more of cognizance regarding walkability. At least anecdotally, more and more of my clients seem to be factoring that into their home buying decision-making process. As you state higher gasoline costs and “greener” mindsets come into play. Thank you for your comment.

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