At 5 Points we are proud of the brokers on our team. They are true professionals with an incredible knowledge of the market and an eye on the big picture. Take this example from our own Ian Leonard, written for his Capstone research project for his Master’s thesis from UNCC.  His idea was to look at how greenways affect property values.  We think it was a genius idea and more importantly yielded some useful information that we can pass on to our clients considering a home near a greenway.

Discussion and Conclusion

The goal of this study was to determine whether the greenway system in Mecklenburg County impacts property values at a neighborhood level.  It was found that in ten of the seventeen sample neighborhoods price per square foot was greater for homes located within the 250-foot impact zone along the greenway.  In neighborhoods where prices decreased in the impact area, an attempt was made to identify possible factors that lowered sales prices through on-site examination.  This final section will compare this study with similar studies, discuss the limitations of the study, draw conclusions and recommend areas for future research.

As discussed in the literature review, studies of the impact of parks and greenways on property value for the most part indicate that they increase values in most situations.  These studies do not, however, examine these changes at a neighborhood level.  Karadeniz (2008) and Nicholls and Crompton (2005) used a hedonic pricing method to isolate individual variables that affect the sales prices of homes in their studies.  While this method is quite effective, both researchers found that a majority of the variables studied had no significant effect on sales price.  I chose to eliminate as many outliers as possible from the dataset in the beginning and assumed that most homes in the same neighborhood were homogeneous in nature.  It was also assumed that the price a buyer was willing to pay in the fair market would be the best determinant of what amenities in a home were most desirable.  For example, a home with a pool could significantly raise the price a buyer is willing to pay if they want a pool, but could be a deal breaker for a buyer who does not want a pool.  Therefore, I chose not to attempt to account for all the factors that contribute to sales price as this value cannot accurately be determined for all buyers focusing on price per square foot.

This study also used a much smaller impact area than the ones in the literature review.  By focusing on the neighborhood level and homes within the closest proximity to the greenway, I felt that it was possible to get a better picture of how these homes were directly affected by the greenway presence.

Overall, the study yielded the expected results, with homes on the greenway experiencing higher sales prices per square foot than others in the neighborhood when other externalities did not affect the price agreeing with the information found in the literature review.

It is interesting to note that homes along greenways that provided the most connectivity to other amenities appeared to have the most significant price increases indicating that buyers were willing to pay a premium for more connectivity.  This implication could be the focus of future studies.  Additionally, more research needs to be done on the impact of greenways in general but especially in mid-size Southern cities where to my knowledge little if any has been done.  Greater understanding of how greenways affect property values could help lead to more funding and increase the tax base.