Location Near Public Transit Tips the Scales Favourably

As a general rule, it seems that in today's real estate market what is good for the environment is good for housing values. It holds true, moreover, from Minneapolis to Melbourne, from Vancouver to Toronto, and London to Los Angeles.

Not only are green building practices and energy-saving features highly sought-after features of "hot" housing, but proximity to public transit is likely to boost sales prices by as much as 42%, according to statistics released by the U.S. based American Public Transportation Association and the National Association of Realtors. The numbers are confirmed by realtors and developers in major cities across the globe.

It's always a good idea to buy a home near "high frequency" public transportation.

The findings seem to cut across all price points and other determinants of real estate value. It's a case of "location, location, location," and being closer to the bus line, metro station, or light rail is invariably tied to economic benefits and higher levels of personal satisfaction.

Key advantages include:

  • Higher employment and job availability in a given geographic area.
  • Lower costs of commuting and overall transportation.
  • More "walkable" neighbourhoods, resulting in greater community involvement.
  • A more fit and healthy population; contributing to lower health care costs.
  • Reduced levels of personal stress.
  • Economic performance; even during a "down" economy, properties near efficient public transportation appreciate faster and retain higher values.

Although most residents of any particular neighbourhood are unlikely to give up their personal automobiles, it has been confirmed that increased reliance on public transit can make people happier . In cities with relatively recent improvements in public transit options, such as Dallas, Texas, residents of all ages and economic strata report on the "fun" of leaving the car at home. Not having to deal with congestion, reduced fuel and parking costs, and time advantages are all cited as advantages. Environmental factors and lower stress levels are also major reasons to leave the driving to others.

In the case of similar properties under consideration, a home situated nearer to quality public transit will tip the scales in its favour.