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Living close to Seattle light rail stations will cost you more

According to a new study by Estately, real estate near light rail stations will boost median prices in most places

ST3 is headed to the ballot this November and if approved it could redefine the entire Puget Sound region and how we get around. It could also have a huge impact on housing prices near light rail stations, which is sure to become valuable real estate from Lynnwood to Des Moines and everywhere in between.

Estately wanted to see how home prices vary depending on which Link light rail stop a home is near. They analyzed the last six months of home sales for houses, townhouses, and condos within a one mile radius of each current light rail stop, as well as those currently under construction and those currently planned and funded. What they found is perhaps what you'd expect, that light rail stations raise the real estate around it.

The results were clear: Take the Capitol Hill station, which just opened in March. Already, homes sold near the station are going for a median price of $505,000, or $35,000 more than the rest of the neighborhood.

On Beacon Hill, south of the stadiums, buyers near the station paid a typical price of $516,000 this year, an extra $61,000 compared with other homes in the area. In Pioneer Square, the extra cost near the station is $78,000.

If you did want to live close to a light rail station without breaking the bank, consider a home close to the Tukwila International Boulevard stop or the SeaTac/Airport stop, both of which averaged $178 per square foot. If you're going by median sales prices, Angel Lake ($274,950), SeaTac ($275,000), and Kent/DesMoines ($275,000) form the affordability bottom.

According to economist Matthew Gardner, this mirrors what usually happens in cities where traffic gets really bad before light rail expands and as younger generations then look to leave their cars behind. It creates a bit of a paradox because you can decide to move further away from the center of Seattle but still pay high prices because you're close to light rail.
· Seattle-Area Real Estate Prices by Link Light Rail Stop [Estately]
· To live near light rail in Seattle, you’ll have to pay up, study shows [ST]
· Sound Transit's $54 billion ST3 plan approved, heads to November ballot [CS]