Being able to walk away from your home and easily access amenities nearby adds value to that home, Redfin reports in a new analysis of its Walk Score feature.
The Seattle-based real estate brokerage, in a study of 14 major U.S. metro areas, found that one Walk Score point can increase the price of a home by an average of $3,250 or 0.9 percent.
Walk Score rates homes, on a scale of 0-100, based on walking distance to jobs, schools, shopping, parks and other urban amenities. A score of 90 or above is considered a “walker’s paradise,” according to Redfin — and only 2 percent of active listings meet this distinction.
The company found Seattle to be right in the mix with the national average, with a Walk Score point worth $3,603 or 0.96% of a home’s value.
“We often think of walkability in generic terms, but like everything else in real estate, the value of proximity varies by location,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “What’s notable in the data is that homeowners reap the financial benefits in terms of higher home values when cities invest in walker-friendly infrastructure.”
The results differed by metro areas, Redfin reports. A Walk Score from 60 to 80 in San Francisco increased a comparable home’s value by $187,630, but in Phoenix the increased walkability only adds $15,700.
Redfin also found the bounce to be smaller for luxury homes — the top 5 percent of homes by sale price. In Orange County, Calif., for instance, walkability had a negative impact because, as one Redfin agent pointed out, “Luxury in Orange County is all about exclusivity and seclusion,” adding, “People in Orange County love their cars and don’t give driving a second thought as it’s the easiest and most convenient way to get around the area.”
Redfin looked at the sale prices and Walk Score ratings of more than 1 million homes sold between January 2014 and April 2016 to determine the average price of one Walk Score point.