One of the hallmarks of great urban spaces is walkability–places with lots of destinations and points of interest in close proximity to one another, buzzing sidewalks, people to watch, interesting public spaces–all these are things that the experts and market surveys are telling us people want to have.
Its all well and good to acknowledge walkability in the abstract, but to tough-minded economists (and to those with an interest in public policy) we really want to know, what’s it worth? How much, in dollar and cents terms, do people value walkable neighborhoods? Thanks to the researcher’s at RedFin, we have a new set of estimates of the economic value of walkability.
Redfin used an economic tool called “hedonic regression” to examine more than a million home sales in major markets around the country, and to tease out the separate contributions of a house’s lot size, age, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage and neighborhood characteristics (like average income). In addition, the RedFin model included an examination of each property’s Walk Score. Walk Score is an algorithm that estimates the walkability of every address in the United States on a scale of 0 to 100 based on its proximity to a number common destinations like schools, stores, coffee shops, parks and restaurants.