Do multifamily properties that are part of, or near, transit-oriented developments really have an edge when it comes to renting? It might be a boom time for apartments, with demand outpacing supply in many places, but the question of competitiveness will never fade away completely. Even in flush times, some properties lease up faster than others, and there’s also the consideration that flush times don’t last forever.
There’s some evidence that TOD attracts certain renters that might not otherwise be interested, but studies on the matter haven’t been entirely conclusive. “The majority of TOD residents along new transit systems are childless singles or couples,” notes a 2008 study called “Effects of TOD on Housing, Parking, and Travel,” by the Transit Cooperative Research Program, sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration. “The age spectrum is wide: often younger working professionals or older empty-nesters. TOD residents may have low, medium, or high incomes; this is driven by the design and price of the specific TOD housing.
“TOD developers are researching the market and proactively building products for targeted market sectors,” the study continues. “The demographic characteristics allow developers to more finely target their product to potential end users. … The top three reasons households give for selecting a TOD are housing/neighborhood design, housing cost, and proximity to transit.”
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