Walkability is fast becoming one of the most valuable criteria homeowners seek when they go to buy or rent their homes. As energy costs go up and desire for green living abounds, walkable neighborhoods are becoming the most expensive real estate on a per square foot basis. Washington D.C. ranks #7 of the top 10 Most Walkable U.S. cities, with 60% of DC residents able to walk from their homes to restaurants, shops and transportation. The most walkable neighborhoods in Washington are DuPont Circle, the West End, Logan Circle and Downtown. The Brookings Institute has just come out with a remarkable study on how walkability can be a quantified value that should be considered by buyers, sellers and lenders. Click here for full report
For neighborhoods within metropolitan Washington, as the number of environmental features that ease walkability and attract pedestrians increase, so do office, residential, and retail rents, retail revenues, and for-sale residential values.Walkable places benefit from being near other walkable places. On average, walkable neighborhoods in metropolitan Washington that cluster and form walkable districts have higher rents and home values than stand-alone walkable places. Included in the study are these key points.
Residents of more walkable places have lower transportation costs and higher transit access, but also higher housing costs. Places with more walkability features have also become more gentrified over the past decade. Even if there is good transit for poorer neighborhoods, walkability is what adds greatest value.
Residents of places with poor walkability are generally less affluent and have lower educational attainment than places with good walkability.