Would you believe that there's a connection between owning a car and having to foreclose on your home? A study by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that yes, indeed, there is. At least, a relationship was found in the three areas that the study looked at: San Francisco, CA, Chicago, IL and Jacksonville, FL. While the correlation wasn't giant, it does seem that there's something to the idea of "location-efficient neighborhood design" being good for housing stability (read the PDF).

Location-efficiency is "a measure of the transportation costs in a given area," and it includes not just car ownership, but also if the area has reasonable public transportation. Basically, if an area is a "compact" neighborhood with good bus or rail service – and so having a car is not required – then the corresponding foreclosure rate was probably lower. One possibility is that the money saved by not owning your own car (more details here) can mean more money to spend on housing. As Autopia points out, there could be a lot of other reasons for this connection as well, but for the car-sharing crowd, this is another reason to think about staying away from owning a vehicle when other transportation options are available.

[Source: Autopia | Image: taberandrew - C.C. License 2.0]

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