On average, across the 14 metros analyzed, one Transit Score point can increase the price of a home by $2,040. But the price premium varies widely from metro to metro.
That variance is a problem, though. For example, a Transit Score point gains you 1.13% on property values in Atlanta but counts for nothing in Orange County, California. When you see this kind of variance, you should suspect that other factors are more significant than the one being studied. So this supposedly pro-transit Redfin piece can actually be used to argue that transit isn’t all that important, or at least that when transit is important, it’s because it echoes something else that matters more.
But we should explore a simpler explanation: Maybe transit is relevant, but Transit Score isn’t.
I explain what’s wrong with Transit Score here, but the bottom line is that Transit Score has nothing to do with where you can get to on transit. Transit Score is about how much transit is nearby, and whether it’s cute or sexy, but not at all about whether it’s useful. In this it’s much like the way the real estate industry evaluates static civic amenities, like schools and parks, whereas it should be more like the way the same industry evaluates road access, i.e. by caring how fast you can get to places. More here.
This is important because when you publish results with such huge variability, you tip off smart people that you may not be looking at the right explanatory variable. It’s easy to look at these results and assume that transit isn’t what matters. But maybe it’s Transit Score, not transit, that’s the distraction.