Good public transport can improve the livability of an area, and indirectly increase property prices by increasing the demand there is to live there. It’s essential infrastructure in any metropolitan area.
There’s no denying that big cities, towns – and all the places in between – need some level of public transport. Sustainable development depends upon it.
Improving infrastructure of any kind typically has a beneficial effect on property prices – both commercial and residential. And public transport is no different.
Having good public transport services available increases connectivity, accessibility, livability, commuting times, and even house prices. It also gives us an alternative to the car. And that can only be a good thing for everyone – and the planet.
Real estate values for properties near good transport links typically show stronger growth than comparable properties without. And, the more varied transport options you have at your door the more capital gain you can likely expect, as traffic worsens in capital cities, petrol prices rise, and people want more convenience in their lives.
Suburbs with multiple public transport systems such as a bus networks, trains, ferries, light rail, or trams, really stand to benefit. By their nature, these kinds of areas tend to be closer in to the centre of cities and towns, and have higher density housing.
Boom or bust?
Public transport can be a big motivator for investors and property speculators as well as owner-occupiers.
Investors often speculate on a rise in property prices around the announcement of plans for a new public transport system, by buying into an area mooted to benefit from it.
If you get it right, buying based on potential gain due to public transport can be a great tactic.
But it can also be a risky strategy. Big public transport infrastructure projects often tend to hit funding – or political – difficulties and have a long and winding journey. Plans started by one government can be discarded by another or put on hold for years. And it can be a very long time before a project is completed (if it’s completed at all) and things can change quite substantially along the way after community consultations and environmental impact studies or other hurdles. So making investment decisions in this way can be a true gamble and there are no guarantees you will reap any immediate benefits.