Asking rent levels for office space near transit has increasingly demanded a premium, reflecting the value that transit provides in terms of accessibility. That premium has steadily increased over the past 20 years, and the gap now stands at over 30 percent. Sale prices have been a bit more volatile, ebbing and flowing with the market, but the premium exists there as well. Since the recovery began in earnest in 2012, prices for office space near rail transit have been about a third higher.
Figure 1: Offices near transit sell for more
Figure 2: Rents near transit reflect value of good access
This trend is true across time at the regional level, but it also manifests at a local level. Figure 3 compares commercial building sales prices within a quarter mile of certain CTA or Metra rail stations against the real estate submarket they’re located in. A submarket is generally defined as a city neighborhood or suburb. In all cases, the locations close to transit outperformed the broader submarket.
Figure 3: Transit affects sales prices at the local level