Effects of bus transit-oriented development (BTOD) on single-family property value in Seattle metropolitan area

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Journal Article

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Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is considered to be a powerful model intended to achieve sustainable urban development. A well-designed TOD enhances the accessibility of different kinds of activities, reduces transportation costs and improves the comfort and safety of travel for the neighbourhood as whole, thereby increasing the willingness to pay for real estate properties located nearby. This study examines the housing price premiums of bus transit-oriented development (BTOD), a particular type of TOD that has become quite common in practice, especially in cities where public transportation is provided primarily through a bus system instead of a metro or light rail system. BTOD projects are built at major nodes of a bus network and typically include housing units and commercial services. Our research focuses on four completed BTODs in the Seattle metropolitan area, and employs data on sales prices, physical attributes, neighbourhood characteristics and location features for almost 7000 single-family homes located within a 1.5-mile radius. Using Hedonic price analysis, we find that these BTODs have generated significant positive effects on the values of adjacent homes, especially those located within 0.5 miles. Results from a more sophisticated longitudinal analysis using the data for Renton, one of the BTODs, confirm the price premiums while gaining additional insights about the temporal variations. These findings have an important policy implication, which is especially relevant for cities with an extensive bus transit system: local governments can generate additional tax revenues while advancing sustainability through bus transit-oriented developments.


Urban Studies

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