Walkability – More than a Fad

Or … Walkscore gets some love.

There’s real demand, I tell ya.

“We found that walkability had a statistically significant, positive impact on housing values in 13 of the 15 markets we examined,” said Cortright. “For the typical metropolitan area, each additional point of Walk Score was associated with a $700- to $3,000- increase in home values, after controlling for other observable factors. To give you an idea of what kind of difference that makes in the marketplace, we looked at the difference in home values between a typical house that had the 50th percentile Walk Score, compared to an otherwise identical house that had the 75th percentile Walk Score. Going from the average level of walkability to the 75th percentile raised the value of the median house by between $4,000 and about $34,000, depending on the market.”

This is the perfect opportunity to show a little bit of what I’ve been playing with here for the past few weeks. The good folks at Diverse Solutions have been kind enough to let me beta test their nifty new plugin – dsIDXpress – and it’s awesome.

Check this out – Walkable Homes in Charlottesville.

Or – Walkable Crozet Homes.

Awesome, I tell ya.

If you’re interested in Walkability and Walkscore, the National Association of Realtors’ Winter 2009 Issue of On Common Ground offers a wealth of information.

Even more on walkability from the New York Times:

REAL estate agents often chant the mantra “location, location, location,” which essentially means “find a home in a well-kept neighborhood with good schools and a low crime rate.”

Some may cite a fourth factor, “walkability,” a concept supported by self-styled “new urbanists” who advocate denser cities designed for the pedestrian and mass transit as much as for the car. In their ideal neighborhood, you could walk to a bookstore and then to an ice cream shop, and your children could walk to school, probably unescorted. (It sounds like so many movie depictions of America in the 1950s.)

They argue that walkability lowers crime — that good people on the streets drive away the bad guys — and that it generally improves life and sharply raises home values. Whether it helps homes retain their value when the market slumps, however, seems a harder question to answer.http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/business/10every.html

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  • http://www.dougfrancis.com Doug Francis

    As a buyer agent, I have always enjoyed discussing the things people can walk to from a home, and the more the better. It really is a quality of life thing when you can walk to school, the store, farmers market or in-town events like music at the town green or gazebo.

    One day we will also add “ride-ability” for communities where bikes are king!

  • John Washburn

    I have 20 acres in front of my farm estate overlooking the Pacific islands from which one can walk to a charming seaside town, walk to a gorgeous flat white sand beach, a private natural pool, 3 waterfalls, 20 miles of walking trails, and a a private indoor pool.
    Surrounded by 3000 acres of bird sanctuary. I’m from C’ville and want to share this paradise within a paradise. Temps go from 60 -80 yer round. New Zealand, North Island. An absolute fantasy for a B&B.

  • http://www.portland-listings.com Matt Ricker

    Walkability is King here in Portland, especially close-in. We have a very nice biking community and the inner neighborhoods have been protected from recent Real Estate woes. In fact, we still see increases in pricing in some neighborhoods. People are definitely identifying with a community, and seem more concerned with their quality of life than their space. I’m hoping to see those values in other cities that I visit. “Walkscore” is listed on most marketing pieces here, because people want to know. Thanks Jim.

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