Light Rail Brings Housing Values Up in Denver

While home values in the rest of the region decline, homes near Denver's light rail system have experienced an increase in values over the past two years.

"Homes near light-rail stations along the southeast line, which opened in November 2006, have increased by an average of nearly 4 percent over the past two years, according to an analysis by Your Castle Real Estate. But the rest of the Denver market declined an average of 7.5 percent."

"The closer a home is to the station, the more its value increases, according to the Your Castle analysis. Homes less than a half-mile from a station increased an average of 17.6 percent, while those 1 1/2 to 2 miles away increased just 0.1 percent on average. The data varied widely among stations, however."

"Under its FasTracks program, the Regional Transportation District plans to create six new commuter-rail and light-rail corridors and extend three existing corridors by 2017, potentially creating other pockets where values are driven by proximity to rail."

"In other markets with rail lines, single-family home values have increased anywhere from 2 percent in San Diego to 32 percent in St. Louis, according to data gathered by the Regional Transit District."

Full Story: Light-rail can turn into money train



Light Rail & Housing Value

At $5 a gallon in just a couple of years, and $8 or $10 a gallon in a decade or so, the big photo at the top is what we're going to be dealing with whether we like it or not. I can't afford an automobile that eats 40 percent of my income, and neither can most of the people I know, whether they "like" light rail or some other form of public transit or not.

Personally, I like it.

I bought housing as close to a future light rail station in metro Denver as I could get because I intend to use light rail. Once I tried it when living in St. Louis (one of the few things St. Louis civic leaders have done right in the past couple of decades), I stopped driving downtown. Literally. I hope to do the same thing in Denver.

Stop. Driving. Downtown.

Take the LRT, walk, use shuttle buses. Yes, I'd pay more in taxes to fund this if it meant I could give up my car without losing too much in convenience (always some loss with public transit, but too much means the system won't work because the public wants mobility and convenience), and if fares were low enough (subsidized, in all likelihood) to encourage ridership. Good for the area's economy, good for the environment, good for national security.

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