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When Housing Coincides With Transit in La-La Land

Searches for listed homes that are more accessible to public transit are gaining ground in Los Angeles (L.A.), a city that has so far been known for its sprawl and car culture.

According to a report by Trulia [1], the share of listings in L.A. that include public transit keywords such as “metro” or “subway” have doubled since 2013. In fact, when home sellers include transit keywords, the lowest priced three-quarters of listings sell for an average premium of 4.2%  more than similar listings without transit keywords. In contrast, the top quarter sees an average price penalty of 10.5%.

The report indicated that the share of L.A. County listings that mentioned transit-related keywords rose from 2.3% in 2013 to 4.5% in 2018. And while that is still a small fraction of the keywords used for home searches, the report said that the rise coincides with "ongoing improvements in the city's transit network."

Los Angeles has been actively promoting alternatives to private automobiles, and mobility in and around the city in recent years with L.A. taxpayers pledging $120 billion toward expanding public transit.

Breaking down the type of keywords that mention public transport, the report said that rail represented a disproportionate and growing share of transit keywords. In fact, rail keywords appeared in 1.5% of all listings in 2013 and 3.7% in 2018, while bus mentions have remained stable (0.8% of listings in both 2013 and 2018).

The highest densities of listings mentioning transit also track closely with the routes of L.A.s Metro lines. One of the possible reasons for this surge in listings close to metro lines, according to the report could because the city's "Gold and Expo Lines’ recent expansions have made these routes, and the system at large, more useful."

The report noted that as a share of total listings, references to the Gold Line far outstripped all others from 2013 to 2018. Over the same period, the Expo Line’s share of total listings has grown fastest. Metro’s upcoming Regional Connecter project aims to further integrate the existing transit lines.

Click here [2] to read the full report.