Chicago Transportation Initiatives May Boost Home Values

If you've spent much time in Chicago recently, then you are probably already well aware of the south Red Line shutdown. Starting in mid-May, the $425 million project shut down the Red Line south of Roosevelt to give it a much-needed makeover, which is supposed to eliminate the slow zones and enhance the station to make the commute easier for people throughout Chicagoland. The Red Line will also see the Wilson station, one of its most rundown stops, revamped this summer. Surprisingly, these changes may have an impact on Chicago home sales in the near future.

And the Red Line is not the only public transport option seeing changes. On the South Side, a new $50 million El station at the Cermak Green Line stop was scheduled to begin in June. But what does this mean for Chicago home sales? Homeowners who are looking to sell a home in Chicago near transportation improvements such as this will find that these changes are actually improving Chicago home values.

Buyers Love Public Transportation!

A recent study published by the American Public Transportation Association has shown a direct connection between real estate values and public transportation. This connection makes sense. As fuel costs continue to rise, buyers are interested in saving money by buying properties near public transportation options that will cut down on their commute times and lower the cost of getting to and from work.

The study looked at several metropolitan areas to determine what the impact of public transportation was on home values. One of these areas was Chicago. In 2010, according to the study, over 1.9 million people lived within a half-mile of either a CTA or Metra station. This was nearly a quarter of the area's transportation. Chicago home values also reflected the fact that people want to live near public transportation options. While properties dropped in the region by nearly a third between 2006 and 2011 due to the real estate slump, those homes within this half-mile radius of public transportation continued to outperform their competition by as much as 47 percent.

There are several reasons why homes in these areas saw more stable prices, even when the real estate bubble burst. Access to transportation lowered overall transportation costs for the household, which gave buyers more buying power. Buyers living close to a CTA line, for example, reported $300 less a month in transportation costs than those who lived far from CTA stations. Also, homes near public transport have better access to jobs, while means more potential buyers. All of these facts add up to higher Chicago home values for homes near transportation options.

Transportation Improvements Help Sellers

So what does this mean? As Chicago home sales start to improve along with the real estate rebound we are seeing, those homes that are near some of these transportation improvements are going to see higher values than those that are far from public transportation. As the city continues to improve transportation, Chicago area homeowners will see their property values rise in accordance with these improvements.

As you consider your options for seeing a home in Chicago, take heart in the recent transportation upgrades. If you live near these lines, you should see a stability or even an improvement in home values and sales near your property, meaning that now is a great time to consider listing your home for sale.


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