Public Transportation May Impact Utah Home Values
by Joel Carson
Utah Real Estate
If you’re getting ready to purchase a home in Salt Lake City or a home anywhere in Utah served by public transportation, consider these numbers: home values performed 42 percent better when located near public transportation with high-frequency service during the last recession.
This isn’t a factor most people consider, but it makes sense. The study was released by the American Public Transportation Association and NAR.
In a March 21 press release APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy reported that homes located near high-frequency transportation are as desirable as those located on beach front property.
Utah Offers Great Public Transportation
Many metro area Utah homes for sale are located near public transportation hubs. Utah Transit Authority (UTA) operates the following:
- more than 600 buses and paratransit vehicles
- 400 vanpools
- 146 light rail vehicles
- 63 commuter rail cars
- 18 locomotives
All of this covers a 1,600 square mile service area that stretches over six counties from Payson to Brigham City. The Authority serves the largest segment of population in the state and serves about 1.8 million people. Here’s something I didn’t know until I did some research, UTA operates in one of the largest geographical service areas of any transit agency in the United States!
UTA is continually developing public transportation and this might be something to seriously consider when making your home investment. According to UTA’s official website, http://www.rideuta.com, “The FrontLines 2015 program is a group of five UTA rail projects that will all be in operation by the year 2015 and will add 70 miles to UTA’s existing 64-mile rail network. These projects are designed to provide Wasatch Front residents with transportation options and to enhance mobility for non-riders by decreasing traffic congestion.”
Projects for the FrontLines 2015 program include:
- Mid-Jordan TRAX Line, running through Murray, Midvale, West Jordan and South Jordan
- West Valley City TRAX Line, running from South Salt Lake and West Valley City
- Draper TRAX Line, extending current light rail service through Sandy and Draper
- Airport TRAX Line, running from downtown Salt Lake to the Salt Lake City International Airport
- FrontRunner Provo to Salt Lake City Line, offering high-speed commuter rail service between downtown Salt Lake City and Provo
What’s the Attraction to Public Transportation?
Why the big attraction to public transportation access? Melaniphy said consumers are choosing neighborhoods with public transportation because it provides access to up to five times as many jobs per square mile as compared to other areas in a given region.
“This study shows that consumers are choosing neighborhoods with high-frequency public transportation because it provides access to up to five times as many jobs per square mile as compared to other areas in a given region. Transportation costs tend to be lower in these neighborhoods and such areas tend to be more walkable.
The study’s conclusion is based on higher home values which reflect greater market demand for areas near public transportation, according to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.
Yun said solid public transportation not only helps individual home owners, it also helps a community’s long term economy. The trend is expected to continue.
It seems to me easy access to public transportation would also improve air quality in highly-populated areas.
High-frequency public transportation includes:
- Subway (heavy rail)
- Light rail
- Bus rapid transport
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