Kim Fulton is a NZME. News Service regional reporter

How walking distances affect property values

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Property Brokers regional manager Paul Whitaker says people consider walkability when buying a house. (Photo - Warren Buckland)
Property Brokers regional manager Paul Whitaker says people consider walkability when buying a house. (Photo - Warren Buckland)

People who like to go about their day-to-day activities on foot might expect to pay more for a Hawke's Bay house, according to a new analysis.

Property website homes.co.nz has looked at how walkability compares to house values in the district using its own data along with figures from www.walkscore.com.

Central Hastings and Havelock North were the most walkable parts of the Hastings district and both areas had walk scores of 84. The homes.co.nz estimate of the median house value in both of those areas was just over $600,000.

Walk scores dropped further from the city centre. Parkvale and Flaxmere both had walk scores below 40. Median values were $344,646 in Parkvale and $183,295 in Flaxmere.

Central Napier and Napier south were the most walkable parts of the Napier district with scores of 93 and 88 respectively. The homes.co.nz estimate of the median value of a central Napier house was $400,000. In Napier south it was $357,192.

Walk Score describes areas receiving a score between 90 and 100 as "a walker's paradise". Areas with scores between 70 and 89 were also very walkable, and most errands there could be accomplished on foot.

Homes.co.nz spokesman Jeremy O'Hanlon said suburbs with the highest walk score often had the higher value estimates. They were typically in the central suburbs, but there were exceptions.

Property Brokers regional manager Paul Whitaker said walkability was something people considered when buying a home.

Older people often liked to be within walking distance of shops.That affected house prices because it increased demand.

School zones were also very important to families.

"To get into the good school zones now, one street over or one street out can make a difference in sales price as well."

Walk Score analysed hundreds of walking routes to nearby amenities with points awarded based on the distance to the amenities in each category, according to the website.

Amenities within a five-minute walk were given maximum points. No points were given after a 30-minute walk.

Walk Score also measured pedestrian friendliness by analysing population density and road metrics such as block length and intersection density.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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