Walkability appears to have lost some importance to homebuyers, who are walking straight out of Manhattan’s priciest neighborhoods.
Most areas of Manhattan are considered to be “walkable” because people can walk to commercial amenities or a transit hub within 10 minutes. A new study, however, shows that 18 of the 20 zip codes that have seen the sharpest home value declines in the metro area since 2018 are in Manhattan, according to Bloomberg.
AEI Housing Center research found that the biggest housing price drop came in Lower Manhattan, especially the 10005 zip code. Greenwich Village and Soho zip codes 10014 and 10012 had the next largest declines.
Other areas of Manhattan to see home values drop through May 2021 include the Lower East Side, Chelsea/Clinton, Gramercy Park/Murray Hill and areas of both the Upper East Side and Upper West Side.
Meanwhile, areas seeing gains since 2018 include Central Harlem and parts of Inwood and Washington Heights.
A recent Pew Research Center survey lends credence to the finding, with around 60 percent of respondents saying they’d prefer to live somewhere with a bigger house, even though shops and schools may be situated further away.
Economists note, however, that what people say in surveys is not nearly as telling as what they actually do. And to be sure, Manhattan’s walkable neighborhoods near business districts are neck-and-neck with San Francisco’s as the most expensive housing markets in the country. That is a reflection not only of strong demand for housing in those areas but also of low supply, something the de Blasio administration is belatedly trying to correct.
The recent trend in home values, accelerated by the pandemic, reverses the storyline of the metro area’s residential markets in previous years. Home values in walkable areas of the city cumulatively appreciated by around 45 percent from 2012 to the Covid outbreak.[Bloomberg] — Holden Walter-Warner