Dart and Luas location spikes home prices

Location has always played a substantial role in the pricing of property, especially in major cities. Comparing prices of rent or total purchasing price of business, commercial and residential properties, it seems that this is a common trend across the world.

In Dublin, this also reigns true. New research from Daft.ie has shown that if you are a renter located near the Dart or Luas, your rent can be up to 12% higher than that of those a bit further from these modes of transportation, with Luas red line stops topping the charts. Rent in Dublin has averaged €2,000 per month in 2019, while more conveniently located renters paid a premium of up to €3,500 per month.

On the coast, there is also an influx in prices due to its prime location from some of Dublin’s quickest modes of transportation. This is not unwarranted though, given that the Luas and Dart decrease travel time significantly. Time is very valuable, especially for commuters into or a bit outside of the city.

As a student at UCD this summer, I have found myself using the Dublin bus system for almost every trip. Although the cap is a significant perk, my round trip to and from Howth this weekend was around three hours via bus. The Dart would have been a round trip of 40 minutes. In this situation, I was happy to look out and enjoy the slow bus scenery but if I am to go back in the future I would definitely use the Dart and save my time.

Time has so much value, as does the availability of public amenities. Most home or rental prices increase based on what is available in the surrounding areas. Some homes and neighborhoods along the bus lines are also higher in price because they provide people living in those areas the opportunity to use public transportation without hassle.

In the mornings, I see many non-university affiliated professionals parking their cars at UCD and heading out of the bus stop just as I am. This is because commuting to the city in any personal vehicle larger than a bike is a major challenge. Parking is extremely unreliable and expensive, as well as hard to come by. For these reasons, many people drive to a bus hub close to home and utilize public transportation for the rest of their journey.

It is a luxury to be able to easily get to the places you are going in a short amount of time with minimal effort. The economics behind these soaring prices are easy to understand; there is a high demand for homes near public transportation, but limited supply. Because supply is staying constant, the demand curve would shift to the right, pushing the market equilibrium price up significantly.

What do these high prices tell us? That time is money, and people are willing to pay to save time.

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