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Living In A Walkable Neighborhood Will Cost You, Literally

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Walkability has become increasingly central to the civic conversation here in Los Angeles, where a slew of transit, pedestrian and bike-oriented projects happening around the city (and in the pipeline) belie our decidedly car-centric reputation. Now, new research shows that home-buying Angelenos are actually willing to pay a premium for what was once thought to be unthinkable in Tinsel Town—a home where daily errands can be completed on foot.

In a report issued earlier this month, real estate site Redfin looked at prices and Walk Score data from more than a million home sales across 14 metropolitan areas to determine just how much walkability is actually worth to buyers and sellers. A Walk Score is exactly what it sounds like, measured on a scale of 0 (Car-Dependent) to 100 (Walker's Paradise). L.A.'s average score is 66.3 (Somewhat Walkable). Looking at the price correlation between comparable homes with differing Walk Scores, Redfin's analysts were able to roughly determine the price premium on the median home price for a single Walk Score point. They found that L.A. homebuyers were willing to pay almost a full percent more (or $3,948) for a home in a more walkable neighborhood.

Interestingly, the data shows that walkability may be less important to L.A.'s luxury homebuyers; the price premium for a Walk Score point for those purchasing in the top 5 percent of homes by sale price was .46% (compare that to the .83% premium on median home values). Most of L.A.'s wealthier West Side neighborhoods are far from pedestrian friendly, so the difference makes sense. You can check out the Walk Score of various L.A. neighborhoods here.

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[h/t: L.A. Times]