Walking the Walk

 

Walk Score® is becoming more and more important as a driver of real estate value. Walk Score is a single comparative measure of the ease or walkability from a given property location to nearby amenities.

Real Capital Analytics (RCA), a market leader in commercial real estate data and analytics, has developed a new series of price indices incorporating data from Walk Score to quantify the value of walkability for commercial properties. Index findings show that prices for highly walkable properties have significantly greater appreciation trends than car-dependent locations. These findings cut across both urban and suburban locales, large and small markets and each of the office, retail and apartment sectors.

RCA will publish Walk Score indices on a quarterly basis. This highlights how important the measurement is to the real estate industry as well as economic development consultants like RSG in making informed investment decisions for strategy, valuation/risk assessment and portfolio/property research.

Over the past decade, prices for properties located in Central Business Districts (CBDs) have risen 125%. Prices for suburban properties considered highly walkable are up 43%. Conversely, property prices are up just 21 to 22% for properties in suburban locations that are determined to be either somewhat walkable or car-dependent. 

The findings support evidence that demographic and preferences have shifted back to urban locations and more dynamic live/work/play environments. There is increasing demand from investors who recognize the long-term value of walkability and mixed-use developments.