The Uber Effect

In a world of long commute times, having a home (or workplace) on top of a transport node can be pretty helpful, and the cost of houses within short distances of these have carried a corresponding premium. However, we are leaving that world and moving towards one of distributed public transport, which starts with Uber and ends with autonomous vehicles. Does this threaten the price premium? A recent piece of research by MetLife suggests, yes. Looking at San Francisco, the report finds that whilst apartments within a 5-minute walk of a transit stop used to carry a rent premium to other properties of about 20%, since the introduction of Uber and Lyft this premium has fallen to 15%. Looked at another way, this highlights the liberating impact of these new modes of transport on currently underserviced areas. If this trend continues then there may be more value to be found in the suburbs.