Lyft and Uber Are Even Changing the Real Estate Landscape


Ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber have brought to the marketplace a great alternative means of transportation. Taxis are generally very expensive, but these services are much lower in price. Because of that, the services have become so popular that it is actually affecting where people buy houses, changing the real estate market itself.

As a Lyft driver myself, I can testify to the fact that both drivers and riders love the service. It makes me money, and it gets riders to where they want to go for a decent price. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. But even I had no idea just how far-reaching the effects of the service truly would be.

A new report from Business Insider reveals that in the highest-class neighborhoods of New York City, Lyft and Uber, and other ride services, have seriously changed how prospective home-buyers search for a house.

Leonard Steinberg is a real estate agent who has sold some of the most expensive homes in the NYC area. With over $3 billion in transactions under his belt, he knows what he’s talking about.

Business Insider spent a day with him, and asked what the most popular neighborhood is right now. His surprising answer was that there has never been a time when prospective buyers were less concerned about moving to particular neighborhoods.

"Buyers have become more and more neighborhood agnostic than at any other time in history," he said. "[A buyer] will look at an apartment in SoHo, Hudson Yards, Upper East Side, and Tribeca."

Normally, neighborhood has been everything. The kind of houses there are important, but so is location. As the old real estate adage goes: Location, location, location.

But the proliferation of these rideshare apps seems to have altered that mantra, as prospective buyers are not as concerned with specific neighborhoods as they once were. Why is that? Because the rideshare apps offer something that was once impossible beforehand: commute productivity.

"Today, in our Uber-tech world — I [can be] in the back of a car with my iPhone, and I'm not losing out on anything. That has changed [commutes] dramatically. Your commute time is not lost productivity," he said.

"Time is the last luxury. If you can not lose time, you can live in many places," he said.

Absolutely fascinating. These ridesharing apps are, to some degree, altering the once-concrete laws of real estate. Obviously, it’s never going to be completely broken (unless we somehow discover teleportation technology), but the fact that many wealthy residents in New York City are now not as concerned with location is an incredible change in the real estate market.

This kind of change may not necessarily come to all real estate markets, especially where personal vehicle ownership rates are higher (NYC has many people who don’t drive at all), but one can’t deny that the ridesharing industry is fundamentally changing the way people live their lives, both drivers and riders.

Do you use a ride service? Why?