Property Value/Desirability Effects of Bike Paths Adjacent to Residential Areas

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Place: New Castle County

Overview

This study found that homes within 50 meters of bike paths in New Castle County, Delaware sold, on average, for 4 percent more than similar homes without bike paths. These results are consistent with other studies that have demonstrated a higher value for homes adjacent to trails.

Relevance

This study would be of interest to those looking for examples of the benefits of trails to adjacent property owners. Although the statistical approach the authors used was very simple and did not adequately control for the possibility that trails may be located in an area that already has high property values, their findings are within the range of findings from other studies. Overall, biases due to the analysis are probably not substantial.

Location

The study was based in New Castle County, Delaware, population 539,665 in 2013 and home to the state capital, Wilmington.

Trail Type

The study focused on all “bike paths” in the county, although they are all multi-use paths open to walking as well.

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to assess evidence supporting the positive effect that trails have on neighboring property values, and to help managing agencies communicate with property owners about potential trail projects. The study was sponsored by the Delaware Center for Transportation at the University of Delaware and produced in cooperation with the Delaware Department of Transportation.

Findings

The authors find that homes within 50 meters of a bike path sold, on average, for $8,886 more than otherwise identical properties. At the median sale price in this dataset, this was a 4 percent price premium.

Methods

The authors used a statistical model to compare sale prices of homes identical in all ways except their proximity to bike paths. This approach is known as a “hedonic price model.” The difference in prices between two otherwise identical homes is the price premium attributable to proximity to a bike path. The authors define proximity to a bike path as being within 50 meters of the path.

The analysis dataset included 48,657 properties, 909 (1.9%) of which were close to a bike path.

Citation

Racca, D. and A. Dhanju. 2006. Property Value/Desirability Effects of Bike Paths Adjacent to Residential Areas. University of Delaware, Delaware Center for Transportation Working Paper 188.