Homeowners Save by Trading Off Travel to Work Courtesy of The Deem Team
By Suzanne De Vita
In city cores, commuting from farther out takes time, but can save thousands, according to an analysis newly released by Zillow.
In Boston, there is a 13.4 percent difference in home prices, typically, between the center of the city and locales 15 minutes out—the highest rate of savings, and totaling $57,260. In Seattle, the difference is 11.3 percent, or $54,599; in Washington, D.C., the difference is 9.4 percent, or $37,709. The analysis factored in 34 of the largest metros, in conjunction with HERE Technologies, a city intelligence and mapping platform.
In approximately one-third of the cities examined, however, the opposite is true. Compared to downtown, homes are pricier in suburbs in Texas—Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, specifically—and in Baltimore, Detroit and Sacramento. San Antonio has the highest premium rate, at 14.2 percent (translating to $27,509), and Dallas has the lowest, at 0.1 percent ($308).
Convenience costs—but according to Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow, 15 minutes daily equals five months over a lifetime. With affordability eroding, is shorter travel worth it?
"There has been an urban revival in many U.S. cities over the past two decades driven by evolving preferences among young adults and a long-term shift in the American economy toward service jobs, but, this does come with a cost," says Terrazas. "In many cities, there's a growing tradeoff between a short commute and an affordable home. The regular commute to and from work looms large over the typical American worker's life. Over a 30-year career, reducing your one-way commute by just 15 minutes frees up five months of one's life for more rewarding pursuits.
"For some home shoppers, it may be worth paying more to spend less time sitting in traffic, but for others, deteriorating mortgage affordability and lifestyle needs and wants make longer commutes a reality," Terrazas says.
Across age groups, closer commutes are important. According to a January National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) survey, both millennials and the Silent Generation would live in an apartment or townhome if it meant less travel to work.
For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.