Light rail impacts on property values : analyzing Houston's METRORail
MetadataShow full item record
Light rail transit (LRT) systems are tools to help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, promote high-density development and more affordable housing, and curtail urban sprawl in metropolitan cities throughout the United States. The impact of transit system services on property values has been studied from various perspectives using many statistical approaches. There are two general categories of effects that proximity to a light rail system can have on the value of residential properties: accessibility benefits (experienced in close proximity to the LRT stations) might increase property values, while nuisance qualities (experienced in both proximity to the LRT line and stations) could have a negative effect on residential property values. Due to the opposing nature of these coexisting effects, results from many empirical studies have been contradictory or inconclusive. This report reviews the spectrum of results found by the growing body of literature focusing on the capitalization effects of rail stations on property values. The economic effect of one particular LRT system, the 7.5 mile long METRORail line located in Houston, Texas, on the value of properties within close proximity to rail stations has not been thoroughly examined, as it only opened for service in 2004. This study utilizes property data acquired from the Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD), Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques, and Hedonic Price Models to analyze the impact of the LRT system in the city of Houston, Texas, on the value of residential properties that lie within close proximity to the line’s rail stations.