Monday 21 September 2015

"Location, location, location" and public transit

"Location location location" has long been the mantra in the real estate industry.  In recent years, there has been some shift in what actually constitutes a desirable location, with transit becoming a more prominent key factor.

In 2013, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in the US released a study where they looked at the impact of transit on residential property values.  They found that  residential properties in areas well-serviced by transit like light rail out-performed other areas by an average of 41.6%.  If you love reading statistical analysis or need some help getting to sleep, [the full report is available online].

Interested to know what the common person thought at the gut level, I did a small informal opinion polling, and only about 10% felt being close to transit was a bad thing. The other 90% felt being close to transit was a good thing, but they were split down the middle on whether it was absolutely positive or only positive as long as it was not "too close". Doing a similar informal polling of local real estate agents, not one said it was a negative. Some agreed that it was better if it was not "too close", but no one said it was an outright negative.

As a personal home-buyer, transit may or may not be important to you. My business requires use of a car most days, so transit is not a regular part of my life.  However, I do sometimes find myself wishing for better transit when I have an all-day event to go to downtown (such as the annual real estate trade show), because I will leave the car home and take the bus.

The closure of schools by the public school board could also be a factor that makes transit more important to families in Hamilton, with fast and effective fast public transportation becoming a necessity as high school students travel further to get to school.

At any rate, while there can be lots of debate about what kind of transit and where and when, it is pretty obvious that most people value investment in an effective transit plan. As such, it's not a bad idea to know what transit routes and options are near your home because buyers may want to know.

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