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Will urban commuting time affect housing prices and vehicle emissions?
  • Published Date:
    2016-03-01
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-1.66 MB]


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  • Abstract:
    The transportation cost is an essential factor that impacts land and house values in urban areas. In a classical monocentric city model, residents who work in the Central Business District (CBD) are facing a trade‐off between rent and commuting distance to the CBD. In most metropolitan areas, the real estates that are located in or close to a CBD are able to command a higher rent in equilibrium than those at the suburban areas. Nevertheless, longer distance may not always imply higher transpiration costs for commuting, since alternative commuting modes could shorten the physical distance by shortening commuting time or improving fuel consumption efficiency, such as riding on freeway instead of on local roads, or riding on public transportation rather than individual vehicle. This paper intends to explore how the average commuting time affects the housing price in four suburban cities in Texas, including Houston, Dallas‐Ft Worth, San Antonio, and Austin, using real data from an online real estate database. The statistical relationships between the Median List Price (MLP) and the Average Commuting Time (ACT), after controlling family characteristics such as Median Household Income (MHI), are analyzed by linear regression. In addition, the social cost of urban sprawl when residents make a use of lower housing cost in suburban cities and spend more time on commuting to work was discussed. Results show that an increase in one additional minute on average commuting time raises 1.9 dollars less housing price per square foot (p‐value: 0.038). The incurred costs in the form of significant vehicle emissions and highway congestion have important policy implications. The analytical framework and results in this paper could be references for research and practices in land use, transportation economics, transportation planning, transportation impact analyses, and real estate markets.

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