tod news

Transit-Oriented Development Adds Value and Affordability for Residents - According To a New Report From The TOD Index
Zachary Shahan | Clean Technica

 

BOSTON — The federal government this week pledged nearly $1 billion to help finance the expansion of the Massachussets Bay Area Transportation Authority's (MBTA) Green Line from Cambridge into Somerville and Medford, a major boost for the long-promised transit project, The Boston Globe reported.

Transit-oriented development has been promoted by urban planners for ages. It was a hot and fun topic when I was in graduate school for city planning. It’s completely logical and beneficial to humans… those who live in transit-oriented communities and those who don’t. A new report finds that transit-oriented development (TOD) does indeed add value to homes but also adds affordability for the people living there. If you’re confused, here’s some information from Planetizen:

 

“A new report from the TOD Index reveals three important findings for the national real estate industry and housing market:

 

1. The financial performance of for-sale and rental housing in thousands of neighborhoods near rail stations across the United States significantly out-performs the national housing market. Among all station typologies, Transit Oriented Developments (TODs) are the leading performer.

 

2. Despite the impressive financial performance of TODs, households that live in TODs spend the lowest percentage of their income on housing and transportation costs, providing $10,000 in additional annual disposable income, on average, compared to the average American household.

 

3. Households in TODs demonstrate the lowest vehicle ownership rates and highest rates of transit, walk, bike commuting, which has important implications for environmental sustainability.”

 

The fact of the matter is, individuals transportation themselves around in large, mostly empty vehicles of their own is extremely inefficient. This comes with large financial costs for the individuals, and also large environmental costs that we jointly pay as a society, through things such as much higher medical bills, more suffering, and premature death.

 

Cars are certainly useful in some instances, but they should be used for all cases and needs. However, many communities have been developed in such a way that other options are poor and even practically illogical. Given more options in better-developed communities, people use more logical and enjoyable modes of transport.

 

“TODs are performing so well in the market because they provide households with options. These options include travel choices, choices of where to eat and shop, and the option to live a lifestyle with lower impacts to the natural environment,” Dr. John L. Renne, the creator of the TOD Index, stated.

 

Planetizen adds: “The report finds that TODs residents spend only 24% of their income on housing, compared with the 33% national average, and only spend 13% of their income on transportation compared with the 18% national average. Other key findings from the TOD Index include:

 

- The average home value in a TOD was $518 per sq. ft. compared to the Zillow Home Value Index of $149 per sq. ft. for the average home in the United States.

 

- Rental rates in TODs was $2.28 per sq. ft. compared to the Zillow Rent Index value of $0.89 per sq. ft. for the average rental in the U.S.

 

- Since the start of the economic recovery, in January 2012, TOD home values grew by 37% as compared to a 20% growth for the average American home.

 

- Since January 2012, rental rates grew by 18% in TODs compared to 8% growth nationally.”

 

Download full report here.