Transit stations, allowing people to use mass transit systems to navigate cities, have a lot of benefits. They help to reduce traffic congestion, they allow people who can’t afford cars to remain mobile, and they help to reduce pollution by putting fewer cars on the road.
They also have a financial benefit as well, according to a number of studies. The value depends on the kind of buildings that are around those stations, with denser construction having more value.
Single-family homes near transit stations increase in value by about 2.3 percent, according to a recent study from the University of Texas Arlington. That’s compared to the roughly 18-percent increase seen by multi-family and commercial properties.
Denser construction means that more people have a reason to go to a specific transit station, either because it’s near their home, their workplace, or simply where they can get shopping done. These are the kinds of destinations that people take mass transit to reach, after all, so it makes sense.
This fact is something that cities can, and should, keep in mind when building transit stations. On the one hand, it seems like a good idea to build stations near already existing dense construction, but it also provides a justification for offering single-family homeowners beneficial rates to buy their property and convert it. It also offers the opportunity for those owners to convert their property on their own, when possible.
Knowing that denser properties located next to transit stations increase in value significantly is a tool that cities can use to promote investment in multi-family housing and commercial spaces, if not both.
“Our findings, combined with earlier meta-analyses, suggest that single family housing may not be the best residential use in areas very close to transit,” said Shima Hamidi of UTA, who led the meta-analysis. “Possibly, increasing zoning entitlements for these properties will increase values by giving homeowners the options of selling their property for more money, or converting their properties to more compatible uses.”