If you read The Wellingtonian you may have seen a comment made a couple of weeks ago by a local real estate agent that a cycleway planned for Coutts Street in Kilbirnie would have a significant impact on house prices: "The impact to the value of 169 Coutts St will be severe and in the range of $50,000 to $75,000. There is a massive impact on buyers when they can't park outside". This week an angry letter writer to the same paper claimed that residents of The Parade in Island Bay should be "really alarmed" about this and that "ratepayers and homeowners are to be financially punished".
So is it true? Do residents on The Parade have anything to worry about? According to the evidence the answer is no, they don't. In fact, the proposed cycleway in Island Bay might even increase property values slightly.
A recent report published by Smart Growth America looked at the impact of 37 'Complete Streets' projects. A Complete Street is a multi-modal travel corridor that usually includes bike lanes i.e. very similar to what is proposed for The Parade. They found that: "Ten projects reported before-and-after data for property values. Of those ten projects, eight reported increased property values, while the remaining two reported no change. In six of these ten projects, we were able to take an additional step and compare property values along the Complete Streets project to an unimproved corridor or to citywide trends (or both) before and after the project’s completion. Of those six projects, four outpaced both the comparison and/or city. In the two remaining projects, the differences are negligible".
These results are consistent with other studies. For example, in 2013 students at the University of British Colombia performed a literature review and found that residential properties near bike paths were generally "positively affected" and showed "relatively small increases in housing value". A 2006 study by the University of Delaware concluded that proximity to bike paths "either increases property values and ease of sale slightly or has no effect".
Of course, trying to attribute movements in property values to any one variable is almost impossible but what these studies seem to show is that in the worst case bike lanes don't affect house prices at all and in the best case they might increase them a little. There certainly doesn't seem to be any evidence to back up the slightly hysterical claims being made that house prices near bike lanes will be negatively affected.
Let's also not forget that in the case of The Parade only 34 out of 265 on-street car parks will actually be lost (with some added in nearby streets) and that only around 15 out of approximately 190 houses on The Parade don't have their own off-street parking.
You can read an article that summarises the Smart Growth America report here: http://www.phillymag.com/…/how-bike-lanes-shared-streets-p…/
You can read the full Smart Growth America report here:http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/…/safer-streets-stronger-…
There's also a good discussion in this article about how new cycleways have had a positive effect on property prices in Sydney:http://thisbigcity.net/how-bike-lanes-can-boost-the-economy/