WASHINGTON (March 21, 2013) — Location, location, location near public transportation may be the new real-estate mantra, according to a new study released today by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and the American Public Transportation Association.

During the last recession, residential property values performed 42% better on average if they were located near public transportation with high-frequency service.

“When homes are located near public transportation, it is the equivalent of creating housing as desirable as beach front property,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. “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. Other attractive amenities in these neighborhoods include lower transportation costs, walkable areas, and robust transportation choices.”

Greater demand drives home prices higher in areas near public transportation, said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Transportation plays an important role in real estate and housing decisions, and the data suggests that residential real-estate near public transit will remain attractive to buyers going forward. A sound transportation system not only benefits individual property owners, but also creates the foundation for a community’s long-term economic well being.”

The study, The New Real-Estate Mantra: Location near Public Transportation, investigates how well residential properties located in a half-mile proximity to high-frequency public transportation held their value during the recession compared to other properties in a given region. 

While residential property values declined substantially between 2006 to 2011, properties close to public transit showed significantly stronger resiliency.

For example, in Boston, residential property in the rapid transit area outperformed other properties in the region by an incredible 129%. In the Chicago public transit area, home values performed 30% higher than the region; in San Francisco, 37% higher; Minneapolis-St Paul, 48%; and in Phoenix, 37% higher.

“When consumers choose a home, they also choose a lifestyle. Shorter commutes and more walkable neighborhoods matter to a growing number of people, especially those living in congested metro areas,” said Yun.