Walk Score did an interesting story this week on the best cities in the country for public transit. Those of us in Seattle know that while our light rail is improving, we've got a long way to go with buses and cross-lake traffic.
Still, though, Seattle came through on the West coast as the second-best city for transit. We were also ranked #8 nationally. While our Transit Score of 57 is a far cry from San Francisco's 80, it's a nice reminder that the transit options in the greater Seattle market are improving.
The interesting turn in the story is the connection to real estate values and quality of life. I'll let the Walk Score folks put it in their own words:
There’s growing evidence that buying a house or renting an apartment near public transit is a smart idea.
- First, it’s likely a better investment. The National Association of Realtors found that home values performed 42% better when they were located near public transit1. In Boston, a recent study showed that home prices near public transit outperformed the region by 129%2.
- Living near public transit saves you money. The average American spends $9,859 per year on their car3. Did you know this is the equivalent of a $135,000 mortgage?! Transportation is the second largest expense for American households4.
- And living near good public transit might just make you happier5 — after all, nobody likes being stuck in traffic.
So, does your home buying process include a valuation of proximity to transit? Maybe it should.
© SeattleHome.com: - Sam DeBord, Managing Broker, Realtor
Source: NWMLS Stats - The Northwest Multiple Listing Service did not compile or publish this information.