5 Most Walkable Canadian Cities of 2020

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Vancouver, Montréal and Toronto are the most walkable cities in Canada in 2020.

That’s according to rankings from Walk Score®, a Redfin company that rates the walkability of cities, neighborhoods and addresses. Cities where daily errands do not require a car score 90 points and above, a score of 70 to 89 points means most errands can be accomplished on foot and a score of 50 to 69 indicates that some errands can be completed on foot.

Here’s a look at our debut ranking of the top five Canadian cities (with populations of more than 200,000) for walking:

Rank City Walk Score
1 Vancouver 79.8
2 Montréal 65.4
3 Toronto 61.0
4 Burnaby 60.1
5 Longueuil 54.4

In Vancouver, well-built properties in walkable areas often sell for a premium, according to Redfin Vancouver market manager Brooks Findlay.

“Over the past 10 years, Vancouver has placed a strong emphasis on development that supports walkability. Many of the new developments are focused on areas that are close to transit—specifically our monorail system,” Findlay said. “The city itself has also been very focused on building new walking and bike paths, allowing for a green commute and discouraging single-driver vehicles. Many young professionals in Vancouver don’t even consider owning a car. Developers have created mini villages in high-traffic areas, meaning you don’t have to travel more than five or six blocks to get anything you need.”

Toronto, with a Walk Score of 61, also made it into the top three.

“A lot of Toronto is connected underground, so when it gets cold in the winter, there are still ways to get around. Then there’s the boardwalk, which allows people to walk across much of the city right on the waterfront,” Redfin Toronto market manager Blair Anderson said. “One thing people don’t always realize about Toronto is that there are lots of nature walks and trails right in the city. If it was just a concrete jungle, people wouldn’t be so inclined to walk places, but since it’s so beautiful, walking is appealing. Plus, city traffic is less than desirable these days, so being able to get around on foot is very advantageous.”

Walk Score is available for any address in the U.S. and Canada. We rate 2,800 cities and more than 10,000 neighborhoods. Go to Walk Score’s website to see the rankings. If you’re interested in a specific region, use the following URL structure with your province abbreviation: https://www.walkscore.com/CA-BC/

Check out the most walkable U.S. cities of 2020.

Redfin Unveils the Most Walkable U.S. Cities of 2020

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New YorkSan Francisco and Boston are the most walkable cities in the U.S. in 2020.

Those three cities, along with PhiladelphiaMiamiChicagoWashington, D.C.Seattle and Oakland, have reigned as the nine most walkable in the U.S. for the last five years. Long Beach, CA has been number 10 since it overtook Baltimore in 2016.

That’s according to rankings from Walk Score®, a Redfin company that rates the walkability of cities, neighborhoods and addresses. Cities where daily errands do not require a car score 90 points and above, a score of 70 to 89 points means most errands can be accomplished on foot and a score of 50 to 69 indicates that some errands can be completed on foot.

Here’s a look at our latest ranking of the top 10 U.S. cities (with populations of more than 300,000) for walking:

Rank City Walk Score Change in Walk Score from 2017
1 New York, NY 88.3 -0.9
2 San Francisco, CA 87.4 1.3
3 Boston, MA 82 1
4 Philadelphia, PA 78.8 -0.2
5 Miami, FL 77.6 -1.6
6 Chicago, IL 77.4 -0.4
7 Washington, D.C.  75.9 -1.5
8 Seattle, WA 74 0.9
9 Oakland, CA 73.8 1.7
10 Long Beach, CA 72.4 2.5

Clocking in at 87.4 this year, San Francisco has reached its highest Walk Score ever.

“The sheer number of people moving into San Francisco for jobs and the creation of infrastructure to accommodate them has created a ripple effect for walkability,” said local Redfin agent Chris Dawe. “I’ve lived here my entire life and I’ve seen the makeup of the city change from pockets of walkable neighborhoods joined by cars and public transit to one interconnected area. As housing prices have gone up and the more far-flung neighborhoods have become more popular, the city adds infrastructure, businesses move in and they become more walkable and more connected to other areas.”

“For example, Noe Valley became popular and more walkable about 10 years ago, but then the desirability of the neighborhood started pricing people out. Homebuyers began moving to Dolores Street, then the Mission, and the city responded by adding infrastructure that makes those places more walkable and interconnected,” Dawe continued. “Almost every homebuyer mentions walkability as a priority. They want to walk to the grocery store, to coffee shops or to the park. And now that’s possible in almost every neighborhood inside the city.”

Biggest Walk Score changes

Since we last published Walk Score rankings in 2017, Miami and Washington, D.C. each lost about 1.5 points, and New York lost almost one, but each retained its place in the rankings.

Oakland; Long Beach, CA; Portland, OR and Omaha, which each picked up around two points, had the biggest Walk Score increases since 2017.

“A lot of my homebuying clients seek out walkable neighborhoods in Long Beach because it’s a way to get a small-town feeling in a big city. In certain neighborhoods, people run into each other all the time because they’re out running errands, walking the dog or keeping an eye on neighborhood kids playing outside,” said local Redfin agent Costanza Genoese-Zerbi. “Second Street, Belmont ShoreBelmont HeightsNaplesAlamitos Heights and Belmont Park, all of which are within walking distance of schools, stores, restaurants and parks, have become more and more popular over the last few years.”

Baltimore, which lost four points to hit 65, saw the biggest Walk Score decline of any U.S. city. It’s followed by Bakersfield, CA and San Antonio, which each dropped three points to 34 and 35, respectively.

Walk Score is available for any address in the U.S. and Canada. We also have rankings for more than 2,800 cities and over 25,000 neighborhoods.

Go to Walk Score’s website to see the Walk Score rankings for U.S. and Canadian cities. If you’re interested in a specific city or state, use the following URL structure with your state abbreviation: https://www.walkscore.com/WA/

Check out the most walkable Canadian cities of 2020.

How Much Does Walkability Increase the Value of a Home?

Homebuyers pay nearly a quarter more for walkable homes, but that’s less than in the past.

In U.S. cities, homes within walking distance of schools, shopping, parks and other urban amenities sell for an average of 23.5%, or $77,668, more than comparable properties that are car dependent.

To determine how much walkability is worth when buying or selling a house, we looked at sale prices and Walk Score® rankings for nearly 1 million homes sold last year across 16 major U.S. metropolitan areas and two Canadian cities.

Walkable Premiums by Region

Here are the 2019 price premiums for walkable homes, broken down by region:

Location Premium for Walkable Homes (%) Premium for Walkable Homes ($) Change in Walkable Premium (2016-2019) Walk Score Percentage of Homes Deemed Walkable
National – USA 0.235 77668 -0.023 N/A 0.25
Atlanta, GA 0.302 74741 -0.079 48 0.11
Boston, MA 0.29 140724 0.029 82 0.37
Chicago, IL 0.085 21716 -0.026 77 0.46
Dallas, TX 0.069 19309 0.011 46 0.18
Denver, CO 0.074 30790 -0.02 61 0.28
Houston, TX 0.169 39703 0.023 48 0.17
Los Angeles, CA 0.058 34583 0.007 68 0.52
Minneapolis, MN 0.048 13257 -0.004 70 0.2
Oakland, CA -0.013 -9477 0.01 74 0.37
Phoenix, AZ 0.032 9067 -0.007 41 0.17
Riverside, CA 0.03 11387 -0.006 42 0.12
San Diego, CA 0.105 60225 -0.003 51 0.29
Seattle, WA 0.157 86331 -0.001 74 0.32
St. Louis, MO 0.092 17196 -0.018 65 0.21
Tampa, FL 0.181 41604 0.063 49 0.2
Toronto* 0.158 98631 0.002 71 0.89
Washington, D.C. 0.249 102166 0.003 76 0.31
Vancouver* 0.295 265421 N/A 78 0.96

*Canadian dollars

Walkable homes are a hot commodity. About a quarter of active listings are considered walkable, or have a Walk Score ranking of 50 to 100, although only about 4% are a walker’s paradise, or have a Walk Score of 90 or above. While house hunters are willing to spend more for walkability, the premium they’ve paid for properties in this category has slipped 2.3% from 2016, when such homes in the U.S. sold for 25.8% more than car-dependent ones.*Canadian dollars

“The premium drop is tied to affordability. Properties that are more affordable are seeing the most demand and price growth right now, and homes in less walkable neighborhoods often fall into this category,” Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said. “There just aren’t as many people who can afford walkable neighborhoods. Many house hunters are also willing to move to less walkable neighborhoods in order to get single-family homes.”

Home-sale prices have been rising faster in car-dependent areas than in walkable places since September 2018, according to a 2019 Redfin report. Prices in car-dependent neighborhoods climbed 4.3% year over year in July to a median of $312,100, compared with a 2.3% annual increase in walkable locations, the data showed.

The results for this report differed by metro area. In Boston, walkability increased the value of a home by 29%, or $140,724, the highest premium in dollar terms of all of the U.S. regions we analyzed.

“Boston is very flat, and one of the most walkable cities around. Parking can be difficult, so people often prefer to live near public transportation. We’ve had parking spots sell for six figures in some neighborhoods,” said Redfin Boston team manager April Itano. “Our public transportation is great compared to other cities, and it’s pretty easy to get by without a vehicle if you live downtown. We also have a relatively high percentage of residents who prefer to work and live in the city over the suburbs.”

In Oakland, however, walkable homes sold for 1.3% less, or $9,477, than car-dependent homes.

The benefits of walkability have also changed over time. In 2016, Atlanta garnered the highest walkability premium—38.1%—of any metro area. In 2019, it boasted a 30.2% premium. That’s still the highest of all areas we analyzed in percentage terms, but it also marks the largest premium drop. Meanwhile, Tampa saw the biggest boost, with an increase of 6.3% since 2016.

Methodology

These estimates compare homes by controlling for differences in property and neighborhood characteristics, including property size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, type of property (single-family, condo or townhouse), age of the building, days on market, zip code housing density and the month the home sold in.

This report is based on data from Walk Score, a Redfin company that measures the walkability of addresses. “Walkable” means some or most errands can be accomplished on foot, while “car-dependent” means most errands require a car. For the purposes of this report, we combined three categories—somewhat walkable (ranking of 50-69; some errands can be accomplished on foot), very walkable (ranking of 70-89; most errands can be accomplished on foot) and walker’s paradise (ranking of 90-100; daily errands do not require a car)—into the “walkable” category. We combined the two categories that ranked below 50, meaning most errands require a car, into the “car-dependent” category.

Redfin Unveils the Best Canadian Cities for Biking

 

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Redfin releases its inaugural Bike Score ratings of Canadian cities, neighborhoods and addresses.

Victoria, Vancouver and Montréal are the most bike-friendly cities in Canada.

That’s according to rankings from Redfin, which for the first time ever has used its Bike Score® tool to rate Canadian cities, neighborhoods, and addresses. Scores are based on several factors including access to bicycle lanes, road connectivity, and hilliness. Cities where daily errands can be accomplished by bike score 90 points and above, cities where biking is convenient for most trips score 70-89 points and cities with some cycling infrastructure score 50-69 points.

Below is a ranking of the top 10 Canadian cities (with populations of more than 50,000) for biking:

Rank City Bike Score
1 Victoria, B.C. 80
2 Vancouver, B.C. 79
3 Montréal, Que. 73
4 Longueuil, Que. 70
5 Brossard, Que. 68
6 Ottawa, Ont. 64
7 Waterloo, Ont. 64
8 Toronto, Ont. 61
9 Winnipeg, Man. 61
10 Richmond, B.C. 61

 

Victoria, British Columbia has a Bike Score of 80, followed closely by Vancouver, with a score of 79. Victoria has a network of hundreds of kilometers of bike lanes and bike paths, including the Galloping Goose Regional Trail, which bikers use both for commuting and recreation. Vancouver’s bike-path infrastructure, popular with commuters, spans more than 300 kilometers. Biking accounted for more than 7% of all trips taken in Vancouver in 2018, up from 4.4% of trips in 2013.

“Vancouver has gone through significant reconstruction to make it as bike-friendly as possible over the last decade,” said local Redfin agent Brooks Findlay. “The bridges have been retrofitted with bike lanes and it’s almost impossible to find a street downtown that’s not marked with bike routes. For many of my homebuying clients, living close to both transit and bike lanes is a priority. The number of people who commute by bike has gone up noticeably over the last several years, and tourists prefer to see the city by bike, especially on sunny days.”

Victoria and Vancouver have similar scores to Minneapolis (84) and Portland, OR (82), the most bikeable cities in the U.S., but the scores are well above their neighbor to the south, Seattle, which clocks in at 70. Canada’s third most bikeable city, Montréal, has the same score—73—as Chicago and Denver, the third and fourth most bikeable places in the U.S.

Redfin has Bike Score information for more than 300 cities in Canada. Every Canadian city with Walk Score rankings has Bike Score rankings, as well.

Go to Walk Score’s website to see the Bike Score rankings for U.S. and Canadian cities.

Check out the most bikeable U.S. cities of 2020.

 

Top 10 U.S. Cities for Biking in 2020

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MinneapolisPortland, OR and Chicago are the most bikeable cities in the U.S. for the second year in a row.

That’s according to updated rankings from Bike Score®, a tool by Redfin company Walk Score® that rates the bike-ability of neighborhoods, cities, and addresses. Scores are based on several factors including access to bike lanes and hilliness. Cities where daily errands can be accomplished by bike score 90 points and above, cities where biking is convenient for most trips score 70 to 89 points and cities with some bike infrastructure score 50-69 points.

Here’s a ranking of the top 10 U.S. cities (with populations of more than 300,000) for biking:

Rank   

City

 Bike Score 

  Change in Bike Score from 2018  

Previous rank (2018)
1 Minneapolis, MN

84

+2

1

2 Portland, OR

82

+1

2

3 Chicago, IL

73

+1

3

4 Denver, CO

73

+2

4

5 San Francisco, CA

72

+1

5

6 Boston, MA

70

+1

7

7 Seattle, WA

70

0

6

8 New York, NY

70

+2

8

9 Washington, D.C.

69

+2

9

10 Long Beach, CA

69

+8

16

Pushing Minneapolis and Portland to the top of the list, with scores of 84 and 82, was local government commitment to creating new bike infrastructure for environmental, health, affordability and safety reasons. Minneapolis has hundreds of miles of both on-street and off-street cycling lanes. The Portland bike plan, with a goal of full implementation by 2030, includes hundreds of miles of bikeways.

“Fair-weather bikers like myself are out in full force during the summer months in Minneapolis, but you still see bike commuters with ski goggles year-round,” said local Redfin agent James Garry. “Homebuyers moving to Minneapolis from a different area are always pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to bike everywhere here. The streets have dedicated protected bike lanes, many of which connect to suburban trails, and a lot of companies provide locker and shower facilities for bicycle commuters. The city’s bike culture is especially important to buyers looking at downtown condos, as they’re often looking to get rid of at least one car.”

Portland Redfin agent Daniel Brooks said dedicated bike lanes throughout the city and the Tilikum Crossing Bridge, a car-free bridge for use by cyclists, pedestrians, and public transit, contribute to the area’s bike-friendly culture.

“We live in a relatively small area that makes for a short bike commute to work,” Brooks said. “I’ve worked with a lot of clients who buy homes on the east side of Portland and bike to work downtown over the Tilikum bridge. We’re also seeing more newly built condos with limited parking, which encourages people to ditch their cars as their main mode of transportation and rely on bikes.”

DenverSan FranciscoBostonSeattleNew York and Washington, D.C. again take spots four through nine on Bike Score rankings, though Boston and Seattle have switched places since 2018. Long Beach, CA broke into the top 10 this year, pushing Sacramento to 11th.

Top 5 Bike Score increases

St. Louis experienced the biggest increase in its Bike Score from 2018, up nine points to 62. It’s followed by Long Beach, CA, up eight points to 69.

“Long Beach added several new bike lanes to its city streets in the last few years and divided the beach path so there are designated lanes for bikers and pedestrians. The path runs along a white sand beach, providing direct access to the Pacific Ocean and the city’s popular Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier,” said local Redfin agent Costanza Genoese Zerbi. “Although there has been some controversy around adding bike lanes to crowded city streets—some people believe they can cause congestion and safety issues—I count myself among Long Beach residents who take advantage of the sunny Southern California weather and the bike-friendly paths.”

After Long Beach come Corpus Christi, TX (up 8 points to 49); Pittsburgh (up 6 points to 57) and Memphis (up 6 points to 44).

None of the cities tracked by Bike Score with populations of more than 300,000 had lower scores than last year.

New cities and neighborhoods

Redfin now has Bike Score information for the 2,500 most populated cities in the U.S. Every city with Walk Score rankings now has Bike Score rankings, as well.

Go to Walk Score’s website to see the Bike Score rankings for both United States and Canadian cities. If you’re interested in a specific state or city rating, use the following URL structure with your state abbreviation: https://www.walkscore.com/WA/

Check out the most bikeable Canadian cities of 2020.

12 Walkable Cities Where You Can Live Affordably

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It should come as no surprise that living in walkable cities and neighborhoods benefits our health, the environment, our communities, and wallets. However, with rents skyrocketing in many parts of the country, it can often be difficult to find somewhere to live that is both affordable and walkable.

In the face of this dilemma, we decided to find out where exactly in the country you can live a walkable, urban lifestyle – and not break the bank. To answer this question, we looked at Walk Score data, Cost of Living Index, and average rents for every major city in the country. The cities listed below also have a nice selection of one-bedroom apartments located in “very walkable” neighborhoods (meaning a Walk Score of 70+) with rents of $1,000 or less.

Take a look at our top 12 picks for affordable and walkable cities:

Albuquerque, NM

Nestled in the heart of New Mexico, Albuquerque is in the middle of a multi-million dollar revitalization of its downtown neighborhood. Many come for a photo-op with the neon Route 66 sign, or to float along the painted skies in the hot air ballooning capital of the world, but stay for the rich culture of food, arts, and traditions.

Cost of Living + Rent Index: 46
City Walk Score: 43
Neighborhood Walk Score: Downtown – 84

Buffalo, NY

Less than 30 minutes from Niagara Falls, New York’s second-largest city boasts a redeveloped waterfront, great nightlife, and an emerging dining scene. Buffalo is also one of the most affordable places to live in the U.S., with walkable neighborhoods including Allentown and Columbus.

Cost of Living + Rent Index: 51
City Walk Score: 68
Neighborhood Walk Score: Allentown – 93, Columbus – 86

Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati’s remarkable historic architecture once earned it the nickname of the “Paris of America.” The city’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood boasts some of the hottest restaurants and shops in the region and is easily traversed on foot. The Central Business District is the 2nd most walkable neighborhood in Cincinnati. With new bars, restaurants, shops, and housing popping up, living downtown has become even more popular for young professionals in the city.

Cost of Living + Rent Index: 51
City Walk Score: 50
Neighborhood Walk Score: Over-the-Rhine – 93, Central Business District – 93

Cleveland, OH

Located on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland is a great place for urbanites on a budget. The city is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The House of Blues, a world-class zoo, aquarium, and a great art scene. The Ohio City neighborhood offers an assortment of local shops, cafés, restaurants, and bars, all within reach.

Cost of Living + Rent Index: 52
City Walk Score: 60
Neighborhood Walk Score: Ohio City – 79

Dallas, TX

Texas may not be known for a car-free lifestyle, but Dallas has a surprisingly walkable city center. Bustling downtown is a walker’s paradise, while the very walkable Oak Lawn neighborhood features a variety of nightclubs, restaurants, and shops, and has been known for its diversity since the 1970s.

Cost of Living + Rent Index: 55
City Walk Score: 46
Neighborhood Walk Score: Downtown – 90, Oak Lawn – 86

Detroit, MI

Situated on the Detroit River and along the U.S.-Canada border, Detroit is commonly referred to as the Motor City. However, the city is rapidly becoming friendlier to car-less residents. Downtown is a go-to for professionals who want to live and work in the heart of the city. The University neighborhood is another great option for residents who value walkability.

Cost of Living + Rent Index: 53
City Walk Score: 55
Neighborhood Walk Score: Downtown – 73, University – 87

Houston, TX

As the fourth largest city in the US, demand for a walkable, urban lifestyle is on the rise in Houston due to the steady influx of new residents from the east and west coasts. The Midtown neighborhood is a vibrant community where residents can enjoy an increasing number of local neighborhood amenities while maintaining close proximity to downtown’s bustling business sector and attractions.

Cost of Living + Rent Index: 58
City Walk Score: 49
Neighborhood Walk Score: Midtown – 86

Madison, WI

Madison is a great place to live for people who enjoy walking, biking and other outdoor activities, especially along the scenic lakefront. The University of Wisconsin has a large presence in the city, and its facilities are easy to access via walking or biking. Walkable neighborhoods include State-Langdon and the downtown area.

Cost of Living + Rent Index: 52
City Walk Score: 49
Neighborhood Walk Score: State-Langdon – 93, Downtown – 92

Milwaukee, WI

Known for its breweries and avid sports fans, Milwaukee sits on the Western coast of Lake Michigan. Locals can enjoy bars, coffee shops, restaurants and parks in walkable neighborhoods like the Lower East Side and Juneau Town.

Cost of Living + Rent Index: 55
City Walk Score: 62
Neighborhood Walk Score: Lower East Side – 91, Juneau Town – 95

Omaha, NE

Known for its rich pioneer history, Omaha holds the title of the most walkable city in Nebraska. Located along the Missouri River, Omaha offers a plethora of restaurants, quirky bars, and entertainment options. These are all within reach in some of its most walkable neighborhoods including Market West and Downtown Omaha.

Cost of Living + Rent Index: 50

City Walk Score: 45

Neighborhood Walk Score: Market West – 88, Downtown – 85

Richmond, VA

First settled in 1607, Virginia’s capital city is one of the oldest cities in the United States. New developments, such as those in the Monroe Ward neighborhood, are attracting residents who want to live and work in the urban center. Other areas in Richmond best enjoyed on foot include the VCU and Carver neighborhoods.

Cost of Living + Rent Index: 54
City Walk Score: 51
Neighborhood Walk Score: Monroe Ward – 94, VCU – 95, Carver– 91

Rochester, NY

As the third-largest city in New York State, Rochester is both family-friendly and affordable. Walkable neighborhoods include Pearl-Meigs-Monroe and Park Avenue. Residents can also jump in a car share and head out for a day trip to the gorgeous Finger Lakes, a major wine region, or Niagara Falls.

Cost of Living + Rent Index: 51
City Walk Score: 65
Neighborhood Walk Score: Pearl-Meigs-Monroe – 91, Park Avenue – 83

Methodology: For this list, Walk Score ranked the top major cities in the U.S. with a population of 200,000 or more. We then only considered cities with a Cost of Living + Rent Index (estimation of consumer goods prices including rent) under 58. This index is relative to New York City – meaning that for NYC, the index is 100(%). For example, if a city has a Cost of Living + Rent Index of 45, then on average the cost of living and rent is 55% less expensive than in NYC. Lastly, we made sure each of these cities had a selection of apartments located in “very walkable” neighborhoods (meaning a Walk Score of 70+) with rents of $1,000 or less.

Home Prices Now Rising Faster in Car-Dependent Neighborhoods Than in Walkable Places as Buyers Chase Affordability

Market trends suggest that many homebuyers are prioritizing affordability above walkability. 

Home-sale prices in walkable neighborhoods across the country increased 2.3 percent year over year to a median $343,900 in July, compared to 4.3 percent annual growth to a median $312,100 for homes in car-dependent areas.

That’s according to data from Walk Score®, a Redfin company that rates the walkability of neighborhoods, cities and addresses. A place is deemed “walkable” if some or most errands can be accomplished on foot, while “car dependent” means most errands require a car.

Prices have been rising faster in car-dependent neighborhoods than in walkable neighborhoods since September 2018, around the time the overall market began to cool. For at least the four years prior, home prices generally increased faster in walkable neighborhoods than in car-dependent ones. The trend reversal likely reflects that many homebuyers, chasing affordability, have been priced out of the most walkable neighborhoods. As a result, demand has grown stronger in car-dependent neighborhoods.

“In the second half of 2018, homes in the hottest coastal markets became so expensive that most homebuyers became priced out of walkable neighborhoods, where homes tend to sell at a premium,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “It’s not that people value walkability any less than they used to. Many homebuyers are simply relegated by their budgets to live in car-dependent areas, which have since seen demand and home prices grow at a faster rate. The trend also has implications for society, with families becoming further segregated by class and race, as well as for the environment, as more demand in car-dependent areas means more carbon emissions. Growing cities can combat these issues by adopting policies that encourage building more dense, affordable housing in walkable areas.”

 

YoY change in nationwide median sale price for homes in car-dependent and walkable neighborhoods

Home sales were down in both walkable and car-dependent areas in July, but the decline was bigger in walkable areas, which posted a 7.1 percent annual drop nationwide. That’s compared to a more modest 3.3 percent decline in home sales in car-dependent neighborhoods. And while supply of homes in walkable areas was down 7.4 percent year over year, it declined more—10.6 percent—in car-dependent neighborhoods.

chart

San Jose (-7.2%) and Seattle (-6.5%) led the way for price drops in walkable areas in July. Though that mirrors the continued softening trends in the San Jose housing market, prices for homes in car-dependent neighborhoods rose 1.9 percent. In Seattle, homes in car-dependent areas posted a 1.5 percent year-over-year price increase.Two expensive West Coast metros—San Jose and Seattle—had the biggest price drops for walkable neighborhoods

In total, six U.S. metros saw year-over-year drops in home-sale prices in walkable neighborhoods in July. San Jose and Seattle are followed by Pittsburgh (-5.6%), Oakland (-2.1%), San Diego (-1.9%) and Houston (-0.2%).

YoY change in median sale price for homes in walkable neighborhoods

 

Other metrics suggest that demand for homes in car-dependent neighborhoods is rising faster than walkable ones in San Jose and Seattle. In San Jose, supply of homes in car-dependent areas rose 5.5 percent annually in July, but supply in walkable areas increased 22.5 percent. Supply was up 13 percent in walkable parts of Seattle, but down 17.2 percent in car-dependent places.

Philadelphia and Cleveland saw the biggest increases in home prices for car-dependent neighborhoods

In all but four metros in the U.S., home prices in car-dependent neighborhoods increased year over year in July. Philadelphia, with a 17.9 percent annual increase, led the pack, followed by Cleveland (10.6%), Fort Lauderdale (9.1%), Pittsburgh (8.5%) and Miami (8%). In all those places except Pittsburgh, home prices also rose in walkable neighborhoods.

Walkable parts of Columbus, Kansas City and Detroit had the biggest price increases in walkable neighborhoods

Twenty metros buck the national trend, with median home-sale prices increasing more for homes in walkable areas than car-dependent areas. That’s particularly true in the Midwest, where homes tend to be less expensive than they are on the coasts and buyers may be able to afford homes in more central areas.

In Columbus, Ohio, home prices for walkable areas rose 16.3 percent year over year in July versus 5.9 percent for places more dependent on cars. That’s more than any other metro in the U.S. It’s followed by Kansas City, Missouri (11.7% rise for walkable; 6.1% for car-dependent) and Detroit (11.1% rise for walkable; 0.1% for car-dependent

Methodology

This report is based on data from Walk Score®, a Redfin company that measures the walkability of addresses. For the purposes of this report, we combined three categories–Somewhat Walkable (ranking of 50-69; some errands can be accomplished on foot), Very Walkable (ranking of 70-89; most errands can be accomplished on foot) and Walker’s Paradise (ranking of 90-100; daily errands do not require a car)—into the “Walkable” category. We combined the two car-dependent categories—(ranking of 0-49; most errands require a car)—into the “car-dependent” category. “Walkable” means some or most errands can be accomplished on foot, while “car dependent” means most errands require a car.

Only metros where at least 1,000 homes in walkable neighborhoods sold in July were included in this report.

Redfin Unveils the Best U.S. Cities for Public Transit in 2019

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New York, Union City, NJ; and San Francisco claimed the top three spots in the U.S., according to the latest Transit Score® update.

New YorkUnion City, NJ; and San Francisco top the 2019 list of best cities for public transit, looking at cities of all sizes, according to Redfin’s latest Transit Score® ranking. Transit Score, a tool by Redfin company Walk Score®, rates locations based on how convenient they are to public transportation.

In the past, Redfin’s annual Transit Score report typically only examined large cities with a population of 300,000 or more. However this year, Redfin is presenting the raw ranking, unfiltered for population, to show that transit is not reserved only for the largest places.

“Housing affordability has become a nationwide concern, leading people to move away from big, expensive cities to smaller, affordable commuter towns and inland areas,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “Small cities that offer the best of both worlds–accessible public transit and relatively affordable homes for sale–are destined for strong growth in the coming years.”

Looking at that full list, the three top spots each had a Transit Score of 80 or better, with New York and its New Jersey suburb of Union City surging above other cities, indicating the local public transit is both conveniently located and runs frequently.

Rank City Transit Score Change (in Transit Score points) from 2018
1 New York, NY 84 -1
2 Union City, NJ 81 0
3 San Francisco, CA 80 0
4 Hoboken, NJ 75 0
5 Cambridge, MA 74 2
6 West New York, NJ 73 0
7 Boston, MA 72 -1
8 Washington, D.C. 71 3
9 Jersey City, NJ 71 0
10 Brookline, MA 69 1
11 Philadelphia, PA 67 0
12 Chicago, IL 65 0
13 Newark, NJ 65 0
14 Silver Spring, MD 64 0
15 Somerville, MA 64 1
16 Bayonne, NJ 62 0
17 Arlington, VA 62 3
18 Santa Monica, CA 62 -1
19 Oak Park, IL 62 0
20. Takoma Park, MD 61 0
21. West Hollywood, CA 61 0
22. Seattle, WA 60 0
23. Beverly Hills, CA 60 0
24. Hyattsville, MD 59 4
25. Florence-Graham, CA 59 -1

New York’s score of 84 is actually down one point from last year–related to hysteria around L-pocalypse, perhaps? New Jersey suburbs popular with commuters also performed well, including top-ranked Union City, as well as HobokenWest New York, and Jersey City all in the top 10, proving whether you live in the Big Apple, or across the river for it, getting around won’t pose a problem.

“The outstanding public transportation options in the greater New York City area make it possible to live a car-free lifestyle, while still benefiting from all the area has to offer,” said New York-based Redfin market manager, Nick Boniakowski. “Whether it’s taking the New York City subway around multiple boroughs, or hopping on the PATH train and ferry to commute across the Hudson river to and from New Jersey, residents have a multitude of options without the hassle and expense of driving. For many buyers, the home search starts with the commute, and these options allow residents to accomplish almost any task with a quick walk and a MetroCard.”

Interestingly, Cambridge outranked Boston, with scores of 74 and 72, respectively. Beantown suburbs Brookline and Somerville both earned top scores too, highlighting the ease of access to public transportation in the Boston metro area.

The Washington, D.C., area demonstrated significant change since last year’s ranking. Our nation’s capital ranked a respectable 8th place overall at 71, but rose three points, more than any other city in the top 25–except for its suburb of Arlington. Arlington also gained three points to hit 62, an increase that could very likely have something to do with Amazon HQ2’s arrival in Crystal City, located in Arlington. Indeed, access to mass transit was listed as a core preference in criteria when Amazon opened up their nationwide search, and there are already plans in place for key transportation infrastructure improvements near the new office campus.

More than half of the top 25 small and large cities remain unchanged from last year, while a few only dipped or increased by one. Those small changes are not for nothing–Redfin found in 2017 that one Transit Score point can increase the price of an average home by more than $2,000.

The results also show that cities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic tend to rank higher for public transit, with more than half of the top entries found in these regions. The West Coast was close behind with cities from California and Washington, while Chicago and nearby Oak Park were the sole cities ranked highly in the Midwest.

For Transit Score purists, we’ve also compiled the more traditional list, examining just the top 20 cities with a population over 300,000:

Rank City Transit Score Change (in Transit Score points) from 2018
1 New York, NY 84 -1
2 San Francisco, CA 80 0
3 Boston, MA 72 -1
4 Washington, D.C. 71 3
5 Philadelphia, PA 67 0
6 Chicago, IL 65 0
7 Seattle, WA 60 0
8 Baltimore, MD 57 0
9 Miami, FL 57 0
10 Minneapolis, MN 57 -1
11 Honolulu, HI 57 0
12 Oakland, CA 56 0
13 Pittsburgh, PA 56 2
14 Los Angeles, CA 53 2
15 Portland, OR 52 1
16 Long Beach, CA 52 1
17 Milwaukee, WI 48 -1
18 Denver, CO 47 -1
19 Atlanta, GA 47 1
20. Cleveland, OH 45 -2

Several cities were measured for Transit Score this year for the first time. New cities include Daly City, CA (52); Pasadena, CA (51); New Haven, CT (48); South Pasadena, CA (46); Gardena, CA (46); El Monte, CA (46); York, PA (40); Bridgeport, CT (40); San Mateo, CA (40); Harrisburg, PA (39); New Britain, CT (38); Moline, IL (37); Darien, CT (37); Waterbury, CT (34); Akron, OH (32); Oxford, OH (31); Flint, MI (31); Vallejo, CA (31); Pasco, WA (31); Poughkeepsie, NY (30); Longmont, CO (29); Knoxville, TN (28); Richland, WA (28); Omaha, NE (27); Walnut Creek, CA (26); Fairfield, CA (25); Dubuque, IA (25); Vacaville, CA (24); Sioux City, IA (24); Meriden, CT (23); Muscatine, IA (22); Clinton, IA (22); Coralville, IA (21); Hanford, CA (21); Simi Valley, CA (21); Mason City, IA (20); Cedar Rapids, IA (20); Murrieta, CA (20); Cedar Falls, IA (20); Greenville, SC (19); Ocala, FL (19); Fort Dodge, IA (19); Thousand Oaks, CA (17); Lawrenceville, GA (16); Marshalltown, IA (16); Middletown, OH (16); Rocky Mount, NC (16); Temecula, CA (16); Hamilton, OH (13); Burlington, IA (13); Fairfield, OH (6).

Want to know how we determine Transit Score? Here’s more information on our methodology:

The Transit Score algorithm calculates a score by summing the relative usefulness of public transit (bus, subway, light rail, ferry, etc.) routes near a given location. Usefulness is defined as the distance to the nearest stop on the route, the frequency of the route, and type of route (with twice as much weight given to heavy/light rail than to bus service). Transit Score is based on data published in General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) format by transit agencies across the country. For a more details on the Transit Score methodology, click here.

To see how your home, neighborhood or city stacks up, search walkscore.com or Redfin.com.

Redfin Unveils the Best Canadian Cities for Public Transit in 2019

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TorontoVancouver and Montreal top the 2019 list of best Canadian cities for public transit, according to Redfin’s newest Transit Score® rankings. Transit Score, a tool by Redfin company Walk Score®, rates locations based on how convenient they are to public transportation.

This is Redfin’s first year ranking transit in Canadian cities. Looking at big cities with populations of over 300,000, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal took the three top spots with Transit Score ratings of 78, 74, and 67, respectively. Transit Score is calculated based on indicators showing that local public transit is both convenient, and runs frequently.

“Toronto is highly populated and growing all the time. The influx of people from all over the world to Toronto puts a strain on all aspects of transportation in regards to road infrastructure and traffic in and out of the city, which is nothing less than gridlock,” said Blair Anderson, broker of record and market manager for Redfin in Toronto.

“Significant growth requires major transit infrastructure, and the city has recognized that and is investing in transit. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) operates in the city, and plans to expand the light rail and subway service. GO train, our commuter rail system, is also undergoing a significant expansion, to make it even more accessible to those living farther out,” he said. “Some people moan and complain about public transit, but Toronto’s system is one of the better transit systems in the world. It’s highly ranked, runs well on a timely basis, and doesn’t have many problems. And without it, the city would shut down.”

With a score of 78, Toronto’s Transit Score holds an edge over several large U.S. cities. It ranks higher than Boston’s 72 rating, and falls just shy of San Francisco’s score of 80, earning a comparable place among the largest cities in North America. Vancouver too ranks above the likes of Boston, as well as Washington, D.C. (71). Montreal meanwhile, finds a partner in Philadelphia, with both cities earning a score of 67.

Read on for the full ranking of the top 15 large cities (with populations of more than 300,000) in Canada for public transit in 2019.

Rank City Transit Score
1 Toronto 78
2 Vancouver 74
3 Montréal 67
4 Mississauga 56
5 Brampton 53
6 Winnipeg 51
7 Calgary 50
8 Ottawa 50
9 Edmonton 49
10 Markham 49
11 Québec 47
12 Surrey 47
13 Laval 46
14 Hamilton 45
15 London 45

Want to know how we determine Transit Score? Here’s more information on our methodology:

The Transit Score algorithm calculates a score by summing the relative usefulness of public transit (bus, subway, light rail, ferry, etc.) routes near a given location. Usefulness is defined as the distance to the nearest stop on the route, the frequency of the route, and type of route (with twice as much weight given to heavy/light rail than to bus service). Transit Score is based on data published in General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) format by transit agencies across the country. For a more details on the Transit Score methodology, click here.

To see how your home, neighborhood or city stacks up, search walkscore.com or Redfin.ca.

Seattle and Honolulu Move up the Ranks of the Best Cities for Public Transit in 2018

New York, San Francisco and Boston top the list of the 10 best cities for public transit according to the updated Transit Score® rankings by Redfin. Transit Score, a tool by Redfin company Walk Score®, rates locations based on how convenient they are to public transportation. Each of the top three cities has a Transit Score above 70, meaning it has an excellent transit rating, with transit being a convenient option for most trips.

While the rank order for the six best cities for public transit has stayed the same since 2012 when Transit Score first launched, there was a lot of movement at the bottom of the top-10 list.

In 7th place, Seattle has a Transit Score of 59.6, up 2.6 points since 2016, the biggest jump among the top 10. In the past two years, Seattle has expanded its Link light rail service, adding two new stations in 2016, making it easier and faster to get to Capitol Hill and the University of Washington. A 2017 survey by the Seattle Department of Transportation found that public transit use had increased by 48 percent in the past seven years.

“Seattle is not only the coolest city in the country – we are now one of the most transit-friendly cities,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. “For our visitors, commuters and residents, public transit is safe, affordable, and a vital component in making sure our city is accessible to all. With the opening of new light rail stations and one of the highest bus riderships in the country, Seattle is making significant strides towards becoming a world-class transit city.”

Honolulu gained 1.6 points of Transit Score since 2016 and entered the top 10 list for the first time, replacing Miami. More than 69 million passengers in Honolulu ride TheBus annually and the city is planning a new rail system to further improve public transportation.

“Honolulu has been a public transportation city for many years now and the fact that our residents and visitors use TheBus an average of 214,000 trips every weekday is a testament to this fact,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “The new Transit Score ranking announced today by Redfin is proof that the nearly 2,000 workers who keep our bus system running strive for excellence each and every day, and our commitment to a transit system that covers all of O‘ahu will only improve once our rail project begins service along our busiest and most populated corridor.”

Below is a ranking of the top 10 U.S. cities (with populations of more than 300,000) for public transit.

Rank City Transit Score Change from 2016 Previous Rank (2016)
1 New York 85.3 +1.2 1
2 San Francisco 80.4 0 2
3 Boston 72.6 -1.8 3
4 Washington, D.C.  68.5 -2.2 4
5 Philadelphia 66.8 +0.1 5
6 Chicago 65.0 +0.3 6
7 Seattle 59.6 +2.6 10
8 Minneapolis 57.6 0 9
9 Baltimore 57.2 -0.6 8
10 Honolulu 57.2 +1.7 11

Top 5 Biggest Transit Score Increases

Raleigh, NC had the largest Transit Score increase, up 6.3 points from 2016 to 28.9 this year.

Rounding out the top five places with the largest Transit Score increases are Phoenix, AZ (+3.8), Aurora, CO (+3.5), Seattle, WA (+2.6)  and Atlanta, GA (+1.7).

Top 5 Biggest Transit Score Decreases

Washington D.C. had the largest decrease among all major cities in Transit Score, dropping 2.2 points to 68.5 in 2018. The decrease can be attributed to changes in Metrobus and Metrorail scheduling, where some bus routes were discontinued and the frequency of trains during rush hour was lowered.

“Once touted as the gold standard for public transit, D.C.’s Metro is now reckoning with decades of deferred maintenance,” said Redfin Washington D.C. agent John Marcario. “Tough decisions to reduce service and shut down lines for extended periods for repair are causing short-term frustration, but will hopefully make the system better in the long run. Despite the fall in Transit Score, access to transit remains a top priority for D.C. home buyers, who are still willing to pay a premium to live near a metro station.”

Bakersfield, CA (-2.2), Miami FL (-2.2), Boston, MA (-1.8) and Baltimore, MD (-0.6) rounded out the cities with the biggest Transit Score decreases from 2016 to 2018.

New Cities Added

With the addition of 600 new U.S. cities and more than 4,000 new neighborhoods, Transit Score ratings are now available for more than 900 cities and nearly 15,000 neighborhoods on walkscore.com. Among the newly added cities are big ones like Jacksonville, FL (22.4) and Charlotte, NC (27.4), along with smaller cities with Transit Score ratings like Hartford, CT (54.2) and Syracuse, NY (44.1).  

To see how your home, neighborhood or city stacks up, search walkscore.com or Redfin.com.

Methodology

The Transit Score algorithm calculates a score by summing the relative usefulness of public transit (bus, subway, light rail, ferry, etc.) routes near a given location. Usefulness is defined as the distance to the nearest stop on the route, the frequency of the route, and type of route (with twice as much weight given to heavy/light rail than to bus service). Transit Score is based on data published in General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) format by transit agencies across the country. For a more details on the Transit Score methodology, click here.