In Silicon Valley, private shuttles not just for tech workers anymore

A recent article from Protocol, a newsletter devoted to the tech industry, details the twin and intertwined problems of very long commutes and the lack of adequate housing in Silicon Valley. Most of us have heard of the so-called “Google buses,” but these shuttles now carry factory workers as well as well-paid white collar programmers.

Transportation affordability key to housing market resilience

A new study looked at more than 300 metropolitan areas across the U.S. to understand which ones saw foreclosure rates drop the fastest during the economic recovery period between 2011 and 2014. The authors call this “housing market resilience.” It found that some of the most resilient areas were central cities with lower household transportation costs.

Highway and LRT nodes have similar impacts on home values

Both highway exits and light rail transit stations appear to generate similar impacts on single-family home values. These results are in keeping with the researchers’ hypothesis that the negative disamenity effect around transport nodes is relatively small and fades quickly with increasing distance, while the positive accessibility effect is larger and declines more gradually with distance.

The value of walkability

Is a home worth an $850 price premium for each additional Walk Score point? That’s the value that Emily Washington and Eli Dourado came up with using a fixed-effects model to analyze home sales across all metro and micropolitan areas in the U.S. Even with their price premium, however, homes in walkable urban neighborhoods often can end up cheaper than their suburban counterparts.

The Correlates of Housing Price Changes with Geography, Density, Design and Use: Evidence from Philadelphia (Congress for the New Urbanism, 2012)

University of Pennsylvania economist Kevin Gillen analyzes the stability of Philadelphia-area home prices from 2007-2012 as they correlate to walkable, urban neighborhoods versus exurban, auto-centered locales. In a reversal of trends from past recessions, the walkable, urban neighborhoods have weathered the recent housing crisis better than more car-centered counterparts.

The Correlates of Housing Price Changes with Geography, Density, Design and Use: Evidence from Philadelphia (Congress for the New Urbanism, 2012)

University of Pennsylvania economist Kevin Gillen analyzes the stability of Philadelphia-area home prices from 2007-2012 as they correlate to walkable, urban neighborhoods versus exurban, auto-centered locales. In a reversal of trends from past recessions, the walkable, urban neighborhoods have weathered the recent housing crisis better than more car-centered counterparts.

Losing Ground: The Struggle of Moderate-Income Households to Afford the Rising Costs of Housing and Transportation (Center for Housing Policy and the Center on Neighborhood Technology, 2012)

The combined costs of housing and transportation in the nation’s largest 25 metro areas have swelled by 44 percent since 2000 while incomes have failed to keep pace, according to a new report from the Center for Housing Policy – the research affiliate of the National Housing Conference – and the Center for Neighborhood Technology. The report details the challenges that American households face as the combined costs of housing and transportation consume an ever-larger share of household incomes.

Walk/Transit/Bike Score now an important number for real estate

Walk Score, and now its associated Transit Score and Bike Score have become increasingly important metrics for both brokers selling and renting homes and those searching for a place to live. Access to transportation options is important to those frustrated with congestion and rising gas prices as well as those who simply want a walkable neighborhood.

The Shifting Nature of U.S. Housing Demand (The Demand Institute, 2012)

The Demand Institute believes that a housing market recovery has begun, but this recovery will be different from previous ones because of new market conditions and expectations. These differences may impact transportation planning as commuting and non-work travel patterns change.