Rail Trails & Property Values

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Rail Trails offer safe, handicap-accessible places to jog, walk, or bike for community members of all ages. Study after study have proven that Rail Trails do not have a negative impact on property values. For example, homes near the Minuteman Bikeway and Nashua River Rail Trail sold at 99.3% of the list price and sold in 29.3 days as compared to 50.4 days for other area homes. Below are additional examples of studies on this subject.


Trail-Oriented Development: People-Oriented Design’s Latest Phase

Real estate developers around the world are responding to increased consumer interest in cycling and walking as preferred modes of transportation by building projects adjacent to trails, bike paths, bike-sharing stations, and other infrastructure that supports human-powered mobility, according to Active Transportation and Real Estate: The Next Frontier, a new ULI report.  See more at: http://urbanland.uli.org/planning-design/trail-oriented-development-presents-latest-phase-people-oriented-design/


The Impact of Rail Trails on Nearby Residential Property Values: A Case Study of the Minuteman Bikeway and Lexington, Massachusetts Susanna Hilfer, Salem State University, December 18, 2007.
This extensive study of Lexington home sales showed a steady climb of average price within a quarter mile strip each side of the Bikeway after the rail trail was built. Overall, some of the results were inconclusive. See more at: http://brucefreemanrailtrail.org/rail-trail-resources/rail-trail-studies/#sthash.ICJ5KgoV.dpuf

Home Sales near Two Massachusetts Rail Trails Craig Della Penna, The Murphys Realtors, Inc., January 2006.

Homes sales were examined in the seven Massachusetts towns through which the Minuteman Bikeway and Nashua River Rail Trail run. Statistics on list, selling prices, and days on the market show that homes near these rail trails sold at closer to the list price and much faster than other homes in the area. See more at: http://brucefreemanrailtrail.org/rail-trail-resources/rail-trail-studies/#sthash.ICJ5KgoV.dpuf

 Public Choices and Property Values, Evidence from Greenways in Indianapolis, Center for Urban Policy and the Environment, Indiana University-Purdue University, December 2003.

This study examines the MLS database of sales of about 10,000 homes. The study relates the selling price to a long list of variables, including proximity to rail trails. A sophisticated analysis shows that this proximity is statistically insignificant except for the Monon Rail Trail. The Indianapolis Star noted, “It may not have sand and crashing waves, but the Monon Trail is the equivalent of beachfront property in the Indianapolis area.” See more at: http://brucefreemanrailtrail.org/rail-trail-resources/rail-trail-studies/#sthash.ICJ5KgoV.dpuf