Transit proximity effects : Capital MetroRail and its impact on land prices in Austin, Texas



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Since its first operation in 2010, the 32-mile Austin Capital MetroRail has connected downtown Austin to the city of Leander with 9 stations operating in total. Currently, no research has investigated the impact of the Austin MetroRail on property values. This study fills the research gap by understanding its impacts on property values and other socio-economical influences. Hedonic models have been constructed to assess the effects of transit proximity on land price in this research. The model suggests Austin MetroRail has a positive impact on property values- for properties in the study area, every 100 feet further away from the train station, property values will decrease $13,068/acre. Another analysis of the rail only focused on 7 stations located in the city of Austin and suggests transit premium varies by different neighborhood. In high-income neighborhoods, transit proximity impact is positive; and in middle or low- income neighborhoods, it is negative. When stations were grouped into different study areas, models reveal transit proximity has different effects throughout the system. The research findings confirm the positive effect of Austin MetroRail although in some neighborhoods the effects vary and suggest a series of value-capture strategies to help finance future development.