For those of you who have sat through one of my Spokesperson Training seminars, you know I am a big proponent of “3’s,” that as humans we are inclined to accept and understand things in our lives better if we explain them in three parts. That said it was no surprise that as I sat in a recent “NAR Green Core Course” designation program, sponsored by REBAC, instructor Bill Mulhern of Bucks County (PA) spoke often about, “People, Planet and Prosperity.” The last “P,” Prosperity, is the key. Is sustainability profitable? Absolutely!
A new report, “Walking the Walk: How Walkability Raises Housing Values in U.S. Cities” by Joseph Cortright, CEOs for Cities, revealed that homes in more walkable neighborhoods are worth more than similar homes in less-walkable neighborhoods.
Cortright analyzed data from 94,000 real estate transactions in 15 major markets provided by ZipRealty and found that in 13 of the 15 markets, higher levels of walkability, as measured by Walk Score, were directly linked to higher home values.
“Even in a turbulent economy, we know that walkability adds value to residential property just as additional square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms and other amenities do,” said Cortright. “It’s clear that consumers assign a tangible value to the convenience factor of living in more walkable places with access to a variety of destinations.”
[Note: Test your walkability as defined by the Walk Score algorithm at www.walkscore.com.]
“These findings are significant for policy makers,” said Carol Coletta, President and CEO of CEOs for Cities, which commissioned the research. “They tell us that if urban leaders are intentional about developing and redeveloping their cities to make them more walkable, it will not only enhance the local tax base but will also contribute to individual wealth by increasing the value of what is, for most people, their biggest asset.”
OK. This is one of many examples. Bottom line: we all know that sustainability is necessary for our People and Our Planet. With a glimmer of hope in my heart, we “all” will agree that sustainability equals Prosperity.
Please share your Green successes with me (I also write a weekly column for RealtyTimes.com, and working to be an instructor for REBAC in the near future).