Value of Trail Access on Home Purchases
We use hedonic analysis of home sales data from the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area to estimate the effects of access of different types of trails on home value. Our model includes proximity to three distinct types bicycle facilities, controlling for local fixed effects and open space characteristics. Using interaction terms detect different preferences between city and suburban homebuyers. Regression results show that off-street bicycle trails situated alongside busy streets are negatively associated with home sale prices in both the city and suburbs. Proximity to off-street bicycle trails away from trafficked streets in the city are positively associated with home sale prices, with no significant result in the suburbs. On-street bicycle lanes have no effect in the city and are a disamenity in the suburbs. The following policy issues are relevant from this research. First, type of trail matters. On-street trails and road-side trails may not be as appreciated as many city planners or policy officials think. Second, city residents have different preferences than suburban residents. Third and as suspected, larger and more pressing factors likely influencing residential location decisions. The finding also suggest that urban planners and advocates need to be aware of the consequences of providing for bicycle facilities, as the change in welfare is not necessarily positive for all homeowners.
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