The Value of Trail Access on Home Purchases

Recently Published:2013-07-15 at 12-20-03



Many cities, through public dialogues, community initiatives and other land use and transportation policies, are striving to enhance their ‘livability’. While ‘livability’ is a relatively ambiguous term, there is emerging consensus on the following: the ease by which residents can travel by foot or bicycle represents a critical component of this goal. Communities with well-developed non-motorized infrastructure, in the form of sidewalks, bicycle paths, or compact and mixed land uses, are hypothesized to be more ‘livable’ than those without. This argument is often relied upon by advocates of bicycle paths or sidewalks. If livability is cherished among residents, and one important component of livability includes bicycle paths, then it follows that living close to bicycle paths should be capitalized into home prices. Documenting this relationship would provide good news for advocates who often seek ways of monetizing the value of these public goods; bicycle facilities are non-market goods, making it difficult to attach an economic value to them.