Urban form and rail investment: Impacts on housing prices in Sydney

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
6th Australasian Housing Researchers' Conference, AHRC 2012, 2012
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New infrastructure investments alter the locational attributes of nearby land uses, and these changes are often reflected in changes in property value. However, the effects of new amenities may differ based on local characteristics. This paper explores whether urban morphology and urban form differences are associated with differences in the impact that new rail investment has on housing prices. We focus on a single case study - the Macquarie University train station on the new Epping- Chatswood rail link in Sydney. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and geocoded sales data from RP Data Australia, we investigate the impacts of the construction and completion of the rail line on housing prices, using a repeat-sales approach. We identified the urban form characteristics of two precincts within 1.5km of the station, using GIS to compare variables such as building footprints and bulk, dwelling densities, street patterns and intersection density, and tree canopy cover. On-site inspection and photographs enabled us to add assessments of the quality of the pedestrian environment, likely perceptions of safety, and the legibility of pedestrian connections. Statistical analyses of repeat sales in each of the precincts, controlling for dwelling characteristics, resident profiles, and other sales information, enabled us to determine that there were statistically significant associations between the rail line impacts and the urban form attributes of the local precinct. Our study suggests that public transit investment may offer more value-added in neighbourhoods with welldeveloped pedestrian environments.
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