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Homes in Suburban Philadelphia Are Worth More If They’re Close to Transit

Price premiums on houses in suburban Philly. Houses located very close to transit stations with high service levels sold for 10 percent more than those three miles from a station. Image: ##http://www.econsultsolutions.com/experience/our-projects/the-impacts-of-septa-regional-rail-service-on-suburban-house-prices/## Econsult Solutions##

Living near a SEPTA station can add as much as $37,300 in value to your suburban Philadelphia home.

That’s according to a study by Econsult Solutions Inc., commissioned by the transit agency to analyze sales records for 88,300 single-family homes in the three counties sold between 2005 and 2012. Researchers found that the price premium for transit accessibility ranged from less than 1 percent to 10 percent, depending on how close the home is to the station, how many parking spots the station has, and frequency of service. Researchers found that the price premium fizzled out at a distance of three miles from the station.

Taken together, SEPTA service adds big bucks to the wealth of homeowners in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties. Transit access adds a combined total of $6 billion to property values in these three counties, the study found. That's an average increase of $7,900 across the approximately 800,000 homes in the suburban Philadelphia region. But even this is a low estimate of the value of transit to residents of greater Philly, Econsult reports, since it doesn't include property increases in Philadelphia or any other economic benefits like reduced congestion.

SEPTA commissioned the study as it faces potential service reductions due to insufficient state funding. SEPTA anticipates that unless it receives additional funding, it will be forced to suspend service on nine of its 13 regional routes in the next 10 years.  SEPTA General Manager John Casey estimates that this "doomsday" scenario could cost the transit authority 40 million riders annually. This study shows that it would cost the entire region even more.

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