Impact of Highway Improvements on Property Values in Washington

The objective of this research was to examine the effects that construction of a major highway has on the value of surrounding properties, a topic which is of great public concern. Information was obtained on actual sales prices, as well as the characteristics of the properties. Four residential study areas were used, and as many as 4,785 sales were obtained in each area. The information on building and neighborhood characteristics was used to generate a quality-adjusted price index. This index for the years during which a highway was opened was then compared with an index for an area which had been unaffected by highway change. The results show that when the highway significantly increased the accessibility of the residences, property values increased by 12 to 15 percent. Unfortunately, the houses closest to the highway had this increase partially offset by a .2 percent to 1.2 percent reduction for each 2 1/2 dBA increase in the highway noise level. Houses with highway noise were not found to take any longer to sell. In a commercial-industrial area, land values were found to increase 16.7 percent when a major highway was opened. Interviews were conducted in both residential and commercial areas.

Publication Date: 
Friday, February 29, 1980
Publication Number: 
WA-RD 037.1
Last modified: 
10/12/2016 - 15:40
Raymond B. Palmquist.
Washington (State). Public Transportation and Planning Division. Social and Economic Planning Section.
Number of Pages: 
Accessibility, Business districts, Construction, Economic impacts, Expressways, Freeways, Highways, Impact studies, Improvements, Land values, Literature reviews, Noise, Property values, Real property, Residential areas, Sound level.