Study: Access to good public transportation can make foreclosures less likely

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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