Study Reveals 60-80 Percent Jump in Properties Values Near METRORail

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Study Reveals 60-80 Percent Jump in Property Values Near Rail


METRO Connections • August 2019

The good news for communities near METRORail keeps coming. As rail corridors mature, their contribution to the revitalization and growth of surrounding neighborhoods is becoming increasingly evident. An updated study of the impact of METRORail on neighboring property values noted a significant jump.

"This thing pays for itself over and over again," METRO Board Member Sanjay Ramabhadran remarked, after he reviewed the data at the July board meeting.

The METRO Board of Directors' examination of METRORail’s property value impact began two years ago when the Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD) presented a report to the Board which analyzed values within a one-mile radius of the rail corridors.

Report findings showed a jump in values from $58 billion to $76.3 billion, or slightly more than 31 percent, between 2014 to 2017. 

"You’re seeing new residential development, mixed-use development, retail and all sorts of other developments coming in and supporting the areas around those lines," said HCAD's Jordan Wiser at the 2017 board meeting. "That’s really exciting."

In July, HCAD officials returned to the METRO Board to present a follow-up study to determine if the findings from 2017 still held true and, if so, what could be learned from them. The new report analyzed a five-year period from 2014 through 2018. 

Joshua Dye, HCAD's Geographic Information System Analyst, said land values within a one-mile radius of METRO's Red, Green and Purple lines grew 60 to 80 percent during that time. Property near METRO's Red Line showed the highest concentration of growth.

Dye said the increase was largely seen on residential properties, citing walkability and easy access to transit as influencing factors. 

"The rail lines are easy to walk to and people can get to downtown quickly from residential areas along the line," said Dye. "Most people value the ability to transit easily from place to place."

METRO Board members praised HCAD's findings.

"Clearly there has been both development, which would add to surrounding property values, as well as appreciation of the property that's already there as a result of improved transit," said METRO Board Member Dr. Lex Frieden.

Ramabhadran echoed Frieden, adding that improvements to transit are an investment in the surrounding community.

"We've always known that property values increase substantially along an established transit corridor," said Ramabhadran. "For anybody that balks at the cost of transit improvements, it's fractional compared to the resulting growth in property values we've seen in just five years." 

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