Off-street paths and trails are often opposed out of fear that they will lower the value of nearby homes. Opponents rationalize this from other potential negative outcomes and perceptions. However, several studies refute this claim, based on the development of trails and the subsequent impact to the neighborhood’s resale value.
The Impact of Greenways and Trails on Proximate Property Values: An Updated Review by John L. Crompton and Sarah Nicholls concluded that proximity to a trail resulted in home prices that typically were between 3% and 5% higher than those of comparable homes in the area.
Property Value/Desirability Effects of Bike Paths Adjacent to Residential Areas (PDF) by David P. Racca and Amardeep Dhanju claims:
From a policy standpoint when faced with concern over new bike path projects the answer would seem to be that bike paths have no effect on housing values or a very small to insignificant effect, usually positive, and there are other determining factors such as the design and maintenance plan.
The impact of trails on property values: a spatial analysis by Matthew Gnagey and Therese Grijalva shows a similar result:
we find a 0.6% direct effect premium for each minute closer in driving time to the nearest trailhead, and a 1.4% premium when accounting for the total impact
The Impact of the Little Miami Scenic Trail on Single Family Residential Property Values (PDF) by Duygu Karadeniz even puts a dollar amount on the benefit:
It was found that the trail positively impacts single-family residential property values, with sale prices increasing by $7.05 for every foot closer a property is located to the trail.
Evaluation of the Burke-Gilman Trail’s Effect on Property Values and Crime (PDF) from the Seattle Engineering Department used a “percentage-easier-to-sell” metric:
Property near but not immediately adjacent to the Burke-Gilman Trail is significantly easier to sell and, according to real estate agents, sells for an average of six percent more as a result of its proximity to the trail. Property immediately adjacent to the trail, however, is only slightly easier to sell, and sells for zero to 1/2 of one percent more.
Trail Effects on Neighborhoods: Home Value, Safety, Quality of Life surveyed three studies in 2000 and found they all showed positive outcomes from nearby trails.