How much would you pay to be close to the amenities you need? Well, even as far back as 2009, people paid between $4,000 and $34,000 more for houses with above average walkability scores. Now it’s considered even more valuable.
Walkability is all about living within a comfortable walking distance from the amenities that are important to you: schools, parks, grocery stores, restaurants, etc. The highest walkability scores (90 to 100) mean you can complete all your daily errands on foot.
And this is a game-changer.
Today’s home buyers, particularly the younger ones, want to buy in urban areas where entertainment, work, school, and stores are walkable from home. Not just because these areas are trendy, but also because walking saves on long commutes, parking tickets, and gasoline. Plus, it’s healthy.
Walkability scores are the brainchild of a Seattle company called Walk Score, which compiles walkability data for virtually every address in North America. Walk Score sells this information to a number of real estate industry websites, and they, in turn, use the data in their listings to attract potential buyers to walkable properties. Houses listed with high walkability scores can command a premium, according to a 2009 Impresa study quoted in Real Estate News Exchange and noted above.
So what’s next? These days, the environmental and economic benefits of proximity to transit, and bicycle-friendly neighbourhoods, are as appealing as being able to walk to everything. So, Walk Score has introduced Transit and Bike Scores to its online searchable data base.