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Is the light rail “Tide” lifting property values? Evidence from Hampton Roads, VA

Gary A. Wagner, Timothy Komarek and Julia Martin

Regional Science and Urban Economics, 2017, vol. 65, issue C, 25-37

Abstract: In this paper we examine the effect of light rail transit on the residential real estate market in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Norfolk's Tide light rail began operations in August of 2011 and has experienced disappointing levels of ridership compared to other light rail systems. We estimate the effect of the Tide using a difference-in-differences model and consider several outcome variables for the residential housing market, including sale price, sale-list price spread and the time-on-market. Our identification strategy exploits a proposed rail line in neighboring Virginia Beach, Virginia that was rejected by a referendum in 1999. Overall, the results show negative consequences from the constructed light rail line. Properties within 1500 meters experienced a decline in sale price of nearly 8%, while the sale-list price spread declined by approximately 2%. Our results highlight the potential negative effects of light rail when potential accessibility benefits do not out weigh apparent local costs.

Keywords: Light rail transit; Housing market; Difference-in-difference (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: R3 R4 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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