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Prices surge near T stations

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis March 22, 2013 09:49 AM

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Here's your ticket to real estate riches: Buy near an MBTA station.

OK, I am getting a little carried away here. Still, check out this new report by the American Transportation Association, and yes, all you bitter housing bears out there, the National Association of Realtors.

Homes and condos within a half mile of a subway, trolley, rapid bus or commuter rail stop have outperformed the rest of the market by a whopping 128 percent from 2006 to 2011,the study finds.

The biggest gains were near Red, Green, Blue and Orange line stops - homes near commuter rail lines actually declined in value a bit, but far less than the rest of the market.

That's triple the national average and it's far above even the sizable bumps in value residential properties located near public transit have seen in other rail and bus happy cities, including San Francisco (61 percent) and Chicago (29.7 percent).

That said, I have a couple beefs with study.

First, gold-plated neighborhoods and suburbs are likely skewing the results upward. Downtown Boston has seen a flood of new multimillion-dollar high-rise condos open near T stations, while in Newton and Brookline, both served by the Green Line, values never really took a tumble.

Also, while the percentages sound impressive, they are loosely defined - I am working on nailing down more info on this.

Yet driving anywhere in Greater Boston is fast becoming a completely miserable experience, with those trapped in long daily drives into Boston or out to 495 trapped in a very special kind of commuting hell.

Not to mention, it costs more to drive to work as well.

So it's not surprising that homes and condos near a commuter rail or subway station may be selling for more. The question is how much more.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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