PHOTO CAPTION: Property located within walking distance of public transit performed better during recession.

Study Finds Transit-Oriented Real Estate Less Impacted During Recession

Property values located in 'transit sheds' outperformed their respective regions by more than 40 percent.

Published: 25-Mar-2013

A new research paper determined that residential properties near transit stations in five major cities across the US maintained their values significantly better than properties outside of "transit sheds." The New Real Estate Mantra: Location Near Public Transportation (pdf), commissioned by the American Public Transit Association in partnership with the National Association of Realtors, examines the Chicago, Phoenix, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Boston, and San Francisco regions.

"Across the study regions, the 'transit shed' outperformed the region as a whole by 41.6 percent," according to the report, prepared by the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago. The "transit shed" was defined as areas within a half mile of fixed-guideway transit stations, including both rail and bus rapid transit. While the transit sheds performed better than their regions in every region study, the areas outside of the transit shed underperformed.

The higher values in transit sheds ranged from 30 percent in Chicago to 129 percent in Boston. The effect was strongest associated with transit that provides high and frequent level of service. In addition, households living in transit sheds had better access to jobs and lower average transportation costs than their regions region as a whole. The jobs per square mile in transit sheds is two to three times higher. Household transportation costs in transit sheds are $3,600 to $4,200 a year lower compared to the Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, and Minneapolis-St. Paul regions. In Phoenix, those in the transit sheds saved $2,100 a year.


Electric trolley bus plies streets of Vancouver, BC. Note bicycle rack on front bumper.

The report, funded by TransLink and Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and authored by UBC's Health and Community Design Lab, encourages active transportation, such as walking, cycling and transit.

Tempe, AZ light rail transit station.

Academic study finds public transportation offers 'hidden' economic value to a community ranging from from $1.5 million to $1.8 billion a year, depending on the size of the city.

Jarratt Walker lecturing on transit choices.

Two prominent transit authorities argue, one for utility (transit as a commodity) the other for delight (transit as an experience).


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