From a story which appeared on the University of Cincinnati Web Site, October 11, 2011
New Research Finds that Homeowners and City Planners Should ‘Hit the Trail’ When Considering Property Values
Two University of Cincinnati researchers will present interdisciplinary research at a national conference on planning and development of communities.
Date: 10/11/2011 12:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Location, location, location – it is often touted as affecting the value of residential property. Now, new University of Cincinnati research suggests that location near nature trails could hold a financial benefit for homeowners and ultimately neighboring communities.
University of Cincinnati researchers Rainer vom Hofe, an associate professor of planning, and Olivier Parent, an assistant professor of economics, will present their findings on Sunday, Oct. 16, at the 52nd Annual Association of College Schools of Planning (ACSP) ENVISION Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The two researchers examined how the Little Miami Scenic Trail – a 12-mile southern stretch of the trail that runs through the Cincinnati metropolitan region – impacted residential property values in Hamilton County, Ohio. The scenic, multipurpose trail beckons walkers, hikers, skaters and bicycle enthusiasts and also has horseback riding paths.
“For the ‘New Urbanist,’ multipurpose trails provide the potential for bicycle commuting; help alleviate noise, pollution and congestion, and expand the means for green transportation and a community’s walkability,” write the authors.
Using a research model they developed, Parent and vom Hofe found that from a real estate perspective, trails can have significant, positive spillover effects on property values when these properties are located within reasonable distances to the trails.
To be more specific, housing prices went up by nine dollars for every foot closer to the trail entrance. Ultimately, the study concluded that for the average home, homeowners were willing to pay a $9,000 premium to be located one thousand feet closer to the trail.
The researchers say their study is among the first to quantify the impact of multipurpose trail proximity on residential property values while isolating the results from the biasing effect of nearby property values.