Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
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No 122:
Do urban parks really benefit homeowners economically? Evidence from a spatial hedonic study of the Cincinnati park system

Rainer vom Hofe (), Oana Mihaescu and Mary Lynne Boorn

Abstract: This paper examines the impacts of the City of Cincinnati urban park system on residential property values in a spatial hedonic model. Using housing data in combination with data on 182 parks and over 37,000 single-family residential properties, we examine how the distance to parks, the size of the nearest park, and the presence of park facilities for recreational activities, affect property values. Due to the presence of spatial dependence in our data, we chose two spatial hedonic model specifications that account for local spillovers: the spatial Durbin error model (SDEM) model, and the spatial lag of X model (SLX). By comparing the results from the two models, we show that decreasing the distance to a park by one meter results in an appreciation of the value of the average house in our sample by $7.05 to $9.83. A one hectare increase in the park size house values by $27.73 to $28.03 and the presence of park facilities for recreational activities depreciates house values by an estimated $2,267 for properties within a 500 meter radius to the nearest park. In a last step, we evaluate the park effects on house values when changing the size of the used buffer zones and conclude that the estimated park effects vary significantly with the selected buffers.

Keywords: Hedonic Analysis; Property Value; Cincinnati Urban Parks System; Green Space; Cincinnati Ecosystem Study; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: C11; D12; O18; R21; (follow links to similar papers)

31 pages, June 28, 2017

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