We all know walking and biking are good for our health. But here’s a new twist: they’re also good for our home values.
That’s according to a recent report from the Urban Land Institute titled “Active Transportation and Real Estate: The Next Frontier.” The report notes that the values of homes in areas with “above-average” access to “active transportation”—defined as transportation that “accommodates those who walk and ride bicycles”—can command thousands more in sale price.
“Fifty percent of U.S. residents say that walkability is a top priority or a high priority when considering where to live,” notes the report, “…and, according to the U.S. Census, bicycling has become the country’s fastest-growing form of transportation for commuters.”
Communities that accommodate these priorities have benefitted tremendously. Some examples:
• In Indianapolis, Indiana, the value of properties within a block of the area’s eight-mile biking and walking Cultural Trail has risen an eye-catching 148% percent since the trail’s opening in 2008.
• In Dallas, Texas, property values have increased nearly 80% since the 2006 opening of the 3.5-mile Katy Trail in the Uptown neighborhood.
• In Radnor Township, Pennsylvania, a 2011 study showed that properties within a quarter-mile of the Radnor Trail were valued on average $69,139 higher than area properties farther away.
• In 2013, RE/MAX Realty in Atlanta noted that homes near the BeltLine—a transit and trail loop around the city that will eventually include 33 miles of pedestrian and bicycle trails—were selling within 24 hours, compared to 60-90 days before the BeltLine project began.
The appeal of such trails is many-fold: they offer a means to improve residents’ health and well-being, enhance biker safety, reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and much more. With the added value they offer homeowners, no wonder some call it “wheel estate”!