What’s your home’s Transit Score?

New feature to join Walk Score on REALTOR.ca

Transit Score will now be made available on select listings on REALTOR.ca, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) announced recently.

The national real estate agency said the addition is in response to a “demographic and socioeconomic shift toward sustainable transportation.” It also noted that in a 2013 Nanos survey, 59 per cent of respondents indicated that the Transit Score would be valuable when assessing listings on REALTOR.ca.

The addition of the Transit Score coincides with the change in the implementation of the already popular Walk Score. Both scores will now be positioned in the new “Walk Score + Directions” tab, rather than at the bottom of the listing details page.

If scores are available for that location, they will be revealed to visitors only after they request to see them, noted CREA.

Transit Score will only be available for select Canadian urban areas. CREA noted the presence of public transit in a city does not automatically mean listings will have Transit Score.

The implementation of Transit Score on REALTOR.ca mobile apps is being considered, noted CREA.

According to a 2013 report by the Real Estate Investment Network titled The Calgary Transportation Effect, transportation improvements can boost real estate values by 10 to 20 per cent in “affected areas.”

In cities with comparable transportation systems real estate value often jumps for properties “located within 500 to 800 metres of stations on new transportation lines.”

In Calgary, the report predicted price premiums for homes in communities within 800 metres of the West LRT stations.

A separate assessment by CREB®, however, found this not to always be the case – particularly in inner-city communities.

An analysis of inner-city communities along the West LRT line, which opened in December 2012, show average benchmark home prices reported by CREB® in neighbourhoods such as Spruce Cliff and Killarney saw increases on par with communities not immediately adjacent to the line such as Altadore and South Calgary.

For example, Altadore, located several kilometres from the nearest station, saw a 10.89 per cent increase 2013 to 2014, identical to that of Westgate, which has a station nearby.

Rosscarrock, meanwhile, bucked the trend, registering only an 8.98 per cent increase. Yet the rest of the communities surveyed ranged from 10.74 to 11.2 per cent.

CREB® president Corinne Lyall was not surprised that services such as LRT have not had a large impact on prices in inner-city communities.

Calgary homeowners, regardless of the community they currently live in or are looking to live in, have come to expect ready access to public transportation, whether it’s bus or CTrain, she said.

“Putting an LRT in isn’t necessarily going to increase the values of those particular neighbourhoods. There is an expectation that there is going to be some sort of transit available,” she said.

“It really comes down to a buyer’s particular needs in terms of what transportation [is desired].”

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