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The Relative Impacts of Trails and Greenbelts on Home Price

Abstract

This study examines the impacts of trails and greenbelts and other amenities on home value. Using the hedonic framework the study provides analyses of a database consisting of roughly 10,000 sales of homes occurring from April 2001 to March 2002 in and around San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. Among other things, our study shows that trails, greenbelts, and trails with greenbelts (or greenways) are associated with roughly 2, 4, and 5%, price premiums, respectively. The following amenities: proximity to golf course, neighborhood playground, tennis court, neighborhood pool, view, and cul-de-sac, all add significantly to home value.

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Notes

  1. See for example, “The Impact of Trails, A Study of Users and Nearby Property Owners from Three Trails”, National Park Service, Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program, 1992.

  2. See Neighborhood Open Space Coalition, Urban Open Space: An Investment that Pays, New York City, 1990.

  3. Trails are paths used for walking, jogging, bicycling, horseback riding, and other forms of recreation or transportation. Greenbelts are corridors of protected open space managed for conservation or recreation purposes. Some greenbelts include trails (these are typically known as greenways), while others do not. Greenways often follow natural land or water features, and link nature reserves, parks, cultural features, and historic sites with each other and with populated areas. Greenways can be publicly or privately owned, and some are the result of public/private partnerships.

  4. Our database contains information on trails and greenbelts. The interaction term (Trail x Gbelt) is used to isolate observations that are associated with both trail and greenbelt. An assumption made here is that if a home is near or abutting a trail and greenbelt, simultaneously, the greenbelt must be serving as a border or buffer for the trail thus forming what is popularly referred to as a greenway.

  5. Existing studies (e.g. Corell et al.1978) emphasize the importance of proximity by somewhat including distance to the amenity-generating land use as an explanatory variable. However, the MLS database being used here precludes us from using actual distances from trail or greenbelt.

  6. While it would be interesting to include characteristics of trails and greenbelts such as: length, urban or rural, usage and so forth, the MLS database used here provides no such information.

  7. Log size in continuous acres is unavailable in our data. However, various size categories are listed. Our analysis uses the size categories as dummy variables in our regression relative to the base size category of less than 0.5 acres.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to offer special thanks to Tim Wooten, Property Tax Division, Office of the Comptroller, State of Texas, for data access. All usual caveats apply.

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Correspondence to Paul K. Asabere.

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Asabere, P.K., Huffman, F.E. The Relative Impacts of Trails and Greenbelts on Home Price. J Real Estate Finan Econ 38, 408–419 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11146-007-9089-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11146-007-9089-8

Keywords

  • Amenity
  • Trail
  • Greenbelt
  • Home value
  • Hedonic estimation