Kelly Leighton

Last Updated: September 11, 2019 | View all posts by Kelly Leighton

Does walkability impact affordability?

Prices of homes on the market in communities with high walkablility, or areas where most errands can be accomplished on foot, according to Walk Score, increased at a slower rate year-to-year than those areas that are considered car-dependent, or areas where most tasks can only be completed with aid from a car.  In walkable neighborhoods, home prices rose 2.3% year-to-year in July, reaching a median of $343,900, while homes in areas considered car-dependent saw an increase of 4.3%, reaching a median of $312,100. The site found that this has been a trend for nearly a year, beginning in September 2018.

However, sales in walkable areas saw a decrease as well. Annually, sales fell 7.1%, compared to car-dependent areas, where sales fell only 3.3%. Homes on the market in car-dependent areas also dropped, decreasing 10.6% in inventory year-to-year, compared to 7.1% in walkable areas. Median days on the market remained comparable, at 39 days for walkable communities and 38 days for  car-dependent areas.

The average sale-to-list price ratio was identical in both neighborhoods, at 98.6%, an annual decrease of 1.8% for walkable areas and 1.1% for car-dependent areas. Both areas saw decreases in homes selling above asking prices, with 27.3% of homes in walkable neighborhoods selling above asking, a decrease of 15.3 points, and 23% of homes in car-dependent areas selling above asking price, a decrease of 11.2 points annually.

The two largest metros in Pennsylvania made the list, seeing the largest increases in the car-dependent areas for home prices. In Philadelphia, home prices increased 17.9% year-to-year and Pittsburgh saw a rise of 8.5% in car-dependent neighborhoods. However, the walkable neighborhoods in Philadelphia also increases, while in Pittsburgh, home prices in walkable areas did not increase.