Real Estate Tips |6 min read

Walkable Cities in US: 9 Benefits for Real Estate Investment

Walkable cities are the latest frontier for real estate investors to conquer, and for good reason. Over half of the younger generations have cited walkability as a top quality they want in their homes. This opens the door to countless investing opportunities just waiting to be fulfilled.

Below, you can learn why you should keep properties in walkable cities on your radar.

Main Takeaways

  • 90% of Millennials and Gen Z people are willing to pay more for properties in walkable cities.
  • Real estate investors should focus on walkable properties for their economic resilience, high property value, and federal backing, among other reasons.

Table of Contents

What Makes Up Walkable Properties

In order for people to choose walkable properties, the walkable area must have all four of the below properties. It must be useful, safe, comfortable, and interesting for residents. If you skimp on any of these walkability qualities, people won’t be attracted to your property and its surrounding neighborhood. We personally know this as property managers in North Virginia.

Why You Should Invest in Walkability

Walkability might seem like just a passing fad. However, walkable cities have endless practical, attractive qualities for investors and potential tenants. Below are a few of the reasons you should consider investing in walkable cities.

Target Demographic Reach

Right now, millennials and Gen Z are the top homebuyers in the US. And they prize walkable cities and all the hot-button benefits that come with them, like open floor plans and sustainable features. In fact, 90% of millennial and Gen Z respondents said they’d pay extra for a home in a walkable area, according to a National Association of REALTORS® survey.

That number could not get much bigger. However, when you think about it, this statistic makes sense. After all, ultra-walkable cities like New York and San Francisco are known for their competitiveness and sky-high property values. As an investor, you should remember walkability when you decide on your next property to funnel money into.

Healthier Living

As everyone knows, walking makes people healthier and happier. It’s a core tenant of exercise and wellness. So, when people can incorporate that into their daily lives, it boosts their health profile. With walkable cities, you have so many opportunities to do this. For instance, you can do errands, go to restaurants, or go shopping, all while you burn off calories. It kills two birds with one stone.

Even better, even if you can’t find a location with high walkability, it helps if your area has even a few of these facets. For example, if your property is located near outdoor destinations or hiking trails, that could be marketable.


The environment has become a hot topic for younger people. In that vein, many young adults want to have an eco-friendly home. The real estate industry has listened. They have created climate-friendly building practices and appliances as a selling point for customers.

Naturally, walkable cities and homes fall under the “climate-friendly” umbrella because they remove the need to use gas-fueled cars. So, you should capitalize on this trend by investing in these properties.

Industry Recognition

The most popular real estate websites, Zillow and Trulia, have started to post walkability scores as a feature of their property listings. Walkability has become a way for your property, and by proxy, your brand, to develop legitimacy. It’s a way to show your property is modern, up-to-date, and with the times.

Boosts Your Property Value

Because walkable cities have become more popular, these areas and their properties can benefit from boosted property values. Said areas can see faster property appreciation rates because the demand spikes prices higher over time. As such, investors who tap into these markets should take advantage of buy-and-hold strategies that allow the property value to grow.

Economic Disaster-Proof

During the height of COVID-19, many properties faced a slump, but not walkable retail or office spaces. On the contrary, some of these places even rose in value. This signals that nearby residential properties can go on a similar trajectory.

In effect, properties with access to walkable work, leisure, and essential facilities are the whole package to people. They serve as an all-in-one community that has everything a person could need. This convenience can make properties in walkable cities economically resilient.

Scarcity Drives Demand

Furthermore, scarcity drives value and demand. The vast majority of homes do not have walkability, so the homes that do stand out. According to city planner Jeff Speck, it’s possible that the real estate industry could focus on walkable places for decades and still not have enough supply to meet the demand.

SS4A Program

Right now is a great time to strike on walkable opportunities, such as multifamily properties, because of the current SS4A grant program. The SS4A grant program is a federal grant fund that promotes safe streets and roads around the country. Due to this grant, many US cities have active SS4A projects in progress.

Investors can benefit from this program by working closely with developers. This way, they’ll be the first to get wind of new info, and they’ll get first dibs on new walkable property plans. Also, investors should keep their radar open for newly announced projects, in general.

Small Additions are Assets

Little additions can go a long way. For instance, properties located right near bike trails have been shown to garner 20% to 30% more demand than faraway properties. As such, you should invest in properties in neighborhoods with new bikeways coming in.

Let BMG Handle Your Walkable Property

It says it all that 90% of millennials and Gen Z are willing to pay more for properties in walkable cities. This is an opportunity investors simply can’t afford to miss. So, when you’re selecting your next investment, it would be a mistake not to cash in on this trend.

Once you’ve finally gotten that prized property, one top way to maximize your ROI is renting it out. However, that’s easier said than done when managing properties comes with a million responsibilities, like tenant screening, rent collection, dealing with difficult tenants, and other annoyances.

Luckily, it’s possible to have your cake and eat it, too. You can benefit from the bonuses of investing without all the fuss. Property managers are the secret ingredient that allows you to achieve this. In essence, we handle the responsibilities landlords would otherwise have to face. Contact us today to make your walkable property a win-win.

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