How do denser neighborhoods affect property values? And what’s the economic value of walkable neighborhoods?
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Washington College of Built Environments and a South Korean university shows that, contrary to popular belief, there’s a positive association between higher neighborhood density and the value of single-family residential properties.
Researchers modeled the values of single-family homes, multifamily rental buildings, commercial spaces and offices in King County, Wash., which includes Seattle. They used property values as a measure of economic value, analyzing them in relation to neighborhood characteristics that correlate with walking, including access to open space and public transportation, mixed-use zoning and pedestrian infrastructure such as sidewalks.
They learned that pedestrian aids, such as sidewalks and shorter street blocks, as well as a mix of retail, commercial and residential properties significantly contributed to increases in multifamily rental property values.
The researchers found that not only did the value of single-family residential properties increase with density of surrounding development, but that the quality of neighborhoods, as defined by access to other land uses, including parks, increased with density as well.