12 housing markets where moving 15 minutes away saves the most money
Distance from work is a big part of the home buying decision, particularly since the tradeoff for living closer to the office is often higher home prices and less space. But in some cities, the sweet spot between affordability and a short commute is often just 15 minutes away, according to Zillow.
In the day-to-day grind, transportation, commuting and housing all have major impacts while also representing some of the largest costs to the consumer. Before buying a home, doing a cost-benefit analysis of those three factors will give the best options on where to live.
"In many cities, there's a growing tradeoff between a short commute and an affordable home. The regular commute to and from work looms large over the typical American worker's life," said Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas. "Over a 30-year career, reducing your one-way commute by just 15 minutes frees up five months of one's life for more rewarding pursuits. For some home shoppers, it may be worth paying more to spend less time sitting in traffic, but for others, deteriorating mortgage affordability and lifestyle needs and wants make longer commutes a reality."
Zillow analyzed 34 of the largest cities by population in the U.S. and used commute and real-time traffic data from HERE Technologies, a mapping and location platform company. City centers were identified as the ZIP code representing the highest number of employees per square mile and highest number of inbound trips during morning commutes.
Here are the 12 housing markets with the biggest percentage of savings in home prices by moving 15 minutes outside of the city center.