A new study out from the Natural Resources Defense Council has linked “location efficiency”—a measure of the transportation costs in a given area—and mortgage foreclosure rates. From the report:
The study shows that factors such as neighborhood compactness, access to public transit, and rates of vehicle ownership are key to predicting mortgage performance and should be taken more seriously by mortgage underwriters, policymakers, and real estate developers. With transportation costs accounting for roughly 17 percent of the average American household’s income—and the ongoing foreclosure crisis still garnering much attention—the need for better land use planning and better lending practices has never been more clear. NRDC recommends changes both to planning-related policies and mortgage underwriting procedures that can reduce transportation costs and risk of foreclosure while offering significant environmental benefits.
The best way we know of to reduce transportation costs is to get out of a car and start riding a bike instead. Doing so saved us at least $7000-$8000 last year.
Read the Report (PDF) →