Walkability Factor Increases Property Investment Values

According to a recent study, a 100-point scale, a 10-point increase in walkability increases property values by one to nine percent, depending on the property.  Chicago – with a Walk Score of 74 — was one of the nation’s most walkable cities.  The others are New York, Boston, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia.  The least walkable cities are Jacksonville, Nashville, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Memphis, Fort Worth, Kansas City, San Antonio, El Paso, Austin and Phoenix.

The report examined the impact on walkability and investment returns on more than 4,200 apartment, office, retail and industrial properties over the past decade.  Gary Pivo and Jeffrey D. Fisher compiled the data using performance information from the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries and walkability data from Front Seat.  The study defines walkability as “the degree to which an area with walking distance of a property encourages walking trips from the property to other destinations.”

The Loop and the Near North Side were rated as Chicago’s most walkable neighborhoods with Walk Scores of 96 each.  Just five percent of Chicagoans live in car-dependent neighborhoods.  Illinois’ most walkable city is Forest Park – in the near western suburbs — with a Walk Score of 82; the least walkable is Godfrey – near downstate Alton — with a score of just 20.