12 housing markets where moving 15 minutes away saves the most money

Published
  • July 31 2018, 10:57am EDT
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.
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12 Phoenix, Ariz.

Median home value: $254,700
Home price change by moving 15 minutes out: -$8,646 (-3.4%)
Average rent: $1,365
Rent change by moving 15 minutes out: -$49 (-3.7%)

11 Minneapolis-St Paul, Minn.

Median home value: $261,300
Home price change by moving 15 minutes out: -$12,601 (-4.7%)
Average rent: $1,637
Rent change by moving 15 minutes out: -$66 (-4.4%)

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10 Orlando, Fla.

Median home value: $226,900
Home price change by moving 15 minutes out: -$11,470 (-5.0%)
Average rent: $1,447
Rent change by moving 15 minutes out: -$51 (-3.6%)

9 Charlotte, N.C.

Median home value: $195,800
Home price change by moving 15 minutes out: -$10,689 (-5.0%)
Average rent: $1,293
Rent change by moving 15 minutes out: -$51 (-3.9%)

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8 Portland, Ore.

Median home value: $391,200
Home price change by moving 15 minutes out: -$19,754 (-5.0%)
Average rent: $1,835
Rent change by moving 15 minutes out: -$70 (-4.1%)

7 Pittsburgh, Pa.

Median home value: $141,300
Home price change by moving 15 minutes out: -$11,132 (-6.3%)
Average rent: $1,082
Rent change by moving 15 minutes out: -$154 (-13.2%)

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6 San Diego, Calif.

Median home value: $583,700
Home price change by moving 15 minutes out: -$40,209 (-7.1%)
Average rent: $2,541
Rent change by moving 15 minutes out: -$68 (-2.9%)

5 San Jose, Calif.

Median home value: $1,287,600
Home price change by moving 15 minutes out: -$67,246 (-7.6%)
Average rent: $3,499
Rent change by moving 15 minutes out: -$136 (-4.1%)

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4 Chicago, Ill.

Median home value: $220,400
Home price change by moving 15 minutes out: -$18,864 (-8.2%)
Average rent: $1,637
Rent change by moving 15 minutes out: -$117 (-7.4%)

3 Washington D.C.

Median home value: $399,500
Home price change by moving 15 minutes out: -$37,709 (-9.4%)
Average rent: $2,132
Rent change by moving 15 minutes out: -$172 (-8.7%)

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2 Seattle, Wash.

Median home value: $492,700
Home price change by moving 15 minutes out: -$54,599 (-11.3%)
Average rent: $2,176
Rent change by moving 15 minutes out: -$125 (-6.2%)

1 Boston, Mass.

Median home value: $455,600
Home price change by moving 15 minutes out: -$57,261 (-13.4%)
Average rent: $2,363
Rent change by moving 15 minutes out: -$293 (-12.5%)