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Why Transit Gives Real Estate Extra Oomph

It's well known anecdotally that proximity to transit boosts real estate activity and values. We asked Encompass Real Estate Strategy director of intelligence Brendan Carroll, who recently released a report quantifying the impact of transit on Boston real estate, to give us six facts about it.


1) Properties within a 15-minute walk of Red Line stops from Central to Broadway experienced 7.2M SF of positive absorption over the past 12 quarters, lowering vacancy to 6.9%.

2) Demand for rail-accessible properties has accelerated to its highest three-quarter average ever despite vacancy for these properties dipping to 7.4% to 10% over six quarters.

3) Public transit-indifferent construction of the 1980s and '90s has given way to a trend where a majority of regional commercial development in the 2010s is within a 10-minute walk of a rapid transit station.


4) While smart growth is a national trend, we may be seeing an acceleration of it locally, as this region already has strong public transit infrastructure and an established density of amenities.

5) Developers are recognizing a tenant-imperative for transit accessibility, particularly growing organizations dominated by the car-free Millennial generation.

6) The demand of transit access is not only spurring positive demand trends in the core and in Cambridge, but also transit nodes outside the region’s core, such as in Somerville’s Assembly Row and Boston Landing in Brighton.