2015/10 – Effect of Greenways on Property Values

Linking bike paths’ proximity to appreciation of real estate values and tax revenue

Studies have shown that real estate property values increase with proximity to bicycle paths. People enjoy living close to bike paths and are willing to pay more for an otherwise comparable house to be closer to one.  For example, the Monon Trail in Indianapolis, IN.  

Given two identical houses, with the same number of square feet, bathrooms, bedrooms, and comparable garages-porches – one within a half mile of the Monon Trail and another further away – the home closer to the Trail would sell for an average of 11 percent more.

Economic Benefits of Bicycle Infrastructure Investments – League of American Bicyclists

The LA Times Business Section published an article this weekend that shows that the value of bicycle paths is not lost on those covering real estate. In an article with the helpful headline “On the Market: Homes Near Bike Paths,” they feature six properties for sale located near close to bicycle facilities. A brief description next to each photo mentions which bicycle path or trails is nearby the property. The values range from just over $300,000 to 1.3 million, which in California, qualifies as something for everyone.

On the Market, Homes near Bike Paths – Los Angeles Times

As we reported last month, paint and asphalt crews have been hard at work finishing new two-way lanes on the 10th Street corridor. The new dedicated biking lanes are only the first phase of a 26-item project list approved by the City of Atlanta, expanding bike infrastructure from Monroe Drive and … eventually running along Peachtree Street.

But it’s hard to hear the implications for homeowners and house-hunters — either positive or negative — over the public’s overwhelmingly triumphant bells and whistles. When bike-friendly infrastructure breaks ground, how can we expect property values to respond?  As it turns out, experts say sellers and buyers would be wise to welcome bike lanes.

Bike Lanes & Property Values: Is There A Correlation? – Atlanta Curbed

On April Fool’s Day, Fairfax Media posted a video affirming that the new Sydney cycleways have had a positive effect on property prices. It was no joke. It seems that having a bikeway right outside your front door is good for your health and the value of your house.

Bike paths were placed a shocking third on a list of 39 features that homebuyers defined as crucial in buying homes in a new community.

Vancouver saw a similar effect in 2010 with 65 percent of realtors using new bikeways as a selling feature on a home.

Pittsburgh, whose bike lanes were added in 2007, found those lanes not only influenced residential real estate activity, but ignited commercial and business activity as well.

In North Carolina, realtors found that 40 homes adjacent to the Shepherd’s Vineway Bikeway saw property increases of $5,000 and up.

How Bike Lanes can Boost the Economy – This Big City, Vancouver

There has not been research into whether Hubway in particular boosts or deflates property values in Boston (and research into other bike-sharing programs tends to focus on more general economic impacts, like commuting times and area bike sales). But there has been research on the effects on property of bike paths/lanes, a cousin to bike-sharing programs. Basically, the verdict is that they can only help the value of adjacent or nearby property.

In 2002, the National Associations of Realtors and Home Builders surveyed 2,000 homebuyers and found that a path for biking, walking or jogging was ‘the second most important neighborhood amenity, behind only highway access.’

Bikes, Bike Paths, and Home Values – Boston Magazine

New research suggests that “Complete Streets” — those carefully designed, multi-modal travel corridors that often include, yes, bike lanes — can yield handsome returns on investment for cities. Like millions, sometimes realized in no more than a year, because shared streets reduce collisions, which in turn saves money on medical costs and property damage. And there’s more. These street alterations are also correlated with increased property values and even higher employment numbers.

How Bike Lanes & Shared Streets Pay for Themselves, and then Some – Philadelphia Mag

If you are a homeowner lucky enough to have a property with a bike lane nearby, you are probably going to see a sharp hike in the asking price for your home. However, now that you know the benefits of the bike lane, the real question is whether you will want to sell your home after all!

Why Bike Lanes Make Your Property Prices Skyrocket – icebike.org

“The Port Authority should also explore the use of TIF to finance essential infrastructure projects. TIF is an increasingly common innovative financing mechanism used principally in redevelopment or improvement projects, particularly around mass transit. TIF allows local governments to direct a portion of identified incremental tax revenue toward improvements in a specially established district, often for the purpose of eliminating blight, providing economic development benefit, or expanding modal alternatives or capacity. Taxes on the increases of property values yield revenue that is pledged to support a specific project or projects. TIF could present the Port Authority with another financing tool that could spur otherwise stalled or unrealized projects that are unfunded or underfunded.”

Keeping the Region Moving – PANYNJ

“Home values within one-third of a mile of the park increased 10% immediately following its opening. This was not simply an overall increase in valuation of parks, or of real estate near the west side of Manhattan, but was directly due to the new public good, the park, itself. The increases in home valuations led to property taxes collected by the city in 2010 alone to nearly surpass the cost of constructing the park itself.

Neile Weissman, 2015