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Sure, location is important, but what does that mean?

According to a new study, it means being close to public transportation.

The study, performed by the American Public Transportation Association and the National Association of Realtors shows a significant preference towards easy access to low-cost transportation.

Data reveals that during the last recession, residential property values performed 42 percent better on average if they were located near public transportation with high-frequency service.

When homes are located near public transportation, it is the equivalent of creating housing as desirable as beach front property, said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. This study shows that consumers are choosing neighborhoods with high-frequency public transportation because it provides access to up to five times as many jobs per square mile as compared to other areas in a given region. Other attractive amenities in these neighborhoods include lower transportation costs, walkable areas and robust transportation choices.

The study, The New Real-Estate Mantra: Location near Public Transportation, investigates how well residential properties located in a half-mile proximity to high-frequency public transportation or in the public transit shed have performed in holding their value during the recession compared to other properties in a given region.

While residential property values declined substantially between 2006 to 2011, properties close to public transit showed significantly stronger resiliency. For example:

In Boston, residential property in the rapid transit area outperformed other properties in the region by an incredible 129 percent.

In the Chicago public transit area, home values performed 30 percent higher than the region;

In San Francisco, 37 percent higher;

Minneapolis-St Paul, 48 percent; and,

In Phoenix 37 percent higher.

The study looked at high-frequency public transportation including subway (heavy rail), light rail and bus rapid transit.

The study revealed the impact transportation costs have on the average household. More jobs — in Boston five times more jobs — are located in the areas serviced by public transportation. The table also illustrates that transportation costs in these areas are reduced by up to $351 a month.

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