Cool Tool: Housing + Transportation Affordability Index

Center for Neighborhood Technology has a very cool interactive site going:  Housing + Transportation Affordability Index. It covers 52 metropolitan areas in the US, looking at median income, housing costs for renting and owning, and transportation expenses.

You can look at Rentals, Owned Homes, and Transportation separately or combined:


click for interactive map



Very cool tool!

Here’s their description:

The Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, developed by CNT and its collaborative partners, the Center for Transit Oriented Development (CTOD), is an innovative tool that measures the true affordability of housing. Planners, lenders, and most consumers traditionally measure housing affordability as 30 percent or less of income. The Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, in contrast, takes into account not just the cost of housing, but also the intrinsic value of place, as quantified through transportation costs. Click here to explore how this looks in .

This work is a project of the Brookings Institution’s Urban Markets Initiative and is the most comprehensive study-to-date of the Housing + Transportation Affordability Index. The Index completed for the Brookings Institution has been released in two parts. The first phase was released in January 2006 and specifically examines the variables that inform Housing + Transportation costs in St Paul/ Minneapolis, MN. The key to this report is the finding that the three primary dependent variables in the household transportation model are auto ownership, auto use and transit ridership and that the two primary independent variables are residential density and household income.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Jim Duncan commented on Jul 9

    This is a fantastic tool. I wish for a couple of things –

    1) That they had it for my market,
    2) That I could embed it on my blog and website
    3) That it was a little bit faster.

    My clients (I’m a Realtor) are finally asking questions about costs of transport. My area does not have any public transport to speak of, so we are primarily auto-centric, and this is absolutely affecting the real estate market.

    Even homes that are 10 miles from the urban center are beginning to be shunned for other, inferior but “better” located homes.

  2. Greg0658 commented on Jul 9

    another study to assist decisions ..

    I’ve got a proposal for a study ..
    cost of a study vs payback from the research & be sure to include the loss of real GDP into the mix

    starter headline: not-for-profit for-cause charities and research institutes see record # of job increases and dollars collected during 1st half of 21st century in USA

    just making up that headline at this point – it needs a study to justify its truthiness

  3. Mrs. Davis commented on Jul 9

    It’s looking at housing & transportation cost as a % of income. So is the percentage changing because of variation in the numerator or denominator? I looked at my market and what it tells me is where the very well-to-do and the less well off live versus the people in the middle.

    I interpret this to be because the well-to-do have a much more income than housing an transportation expenditures than the middle. And the less well off have lower housing and transportation costs because of government subsidies for public housing and transit. This is news?

  4. Greg0658 commented on Jul 9

    ps – this 2nd major thought goes in here too

    goes back to a joke a few days back – seen here at TBP
    Posted by: jojo

    I believe we have a situation in American business that legalized “expenses” in the tax code are allowing dissipation of profits by business to the point of waste and burdening laboring workers

  5. colin commented on Jul 9

    might be worth looking at the crime activity in the area. Spotcrime (dot) com.

  6. Ben commented on Jul 9

    This gadget is really really cool!!! Well done!

  7. Tim commented on Jul 9

    Nice info, but I could download a full length movie faster than that thing loads. They need to spend some of their money on servers and/or bandwidth. I am waiting for Sacramento data to load to see if my rental property is in an affordable area…. Terrible, how slow just to zoom in. Guess I will let it run all day to get some useful info.

  8. riverrat commented on Jul 9

    Slow indeed. I wonder if enough of us linking in from TBP this a.m. to overload their server?

  9. rex commented on Jul 9

    Barry: You killed that site. Apparently it can handle only a handful of users at a time.

  10. David commented on Jul 9

    You killed the site! It’s only fair for you to contribute to the upgrade of their server/host.

Posted Under