“Environmental noise caused by traffic can reduce property values,” according to an online article from Road Engineering Journal, citing research from the 1970s and 1980s.
Other blanket statements such as “… the vroom, vroom, vroom of traffic right outside a bedroom window …” will negatively impact the value of a home, are far from accurate. In fact, these stereotypes can keep you from maximizing your near-a-busy-street listing’s potential.
There are pros and cons for homebuyers who purchase a home near a highway. The experts who’ve extensively studied the highway issue claim that results are a mixed bag.
We found an interesting study on freeway noise, published by the Transportation Research Record Journal of the Transportation Research Board.
In it, the researchers found that “Freeway construction may have an adverse impact on some properties, but in the aggregate, property values tend to increase with freeway development.”
They also claim that the effect of freeways on property values varies according to the type of property.
The value of single-family homes experienced a negative impact while multi-family dwellings, such as condos, apartments, and commercial properties found a rise in value.
Finally, the study found that “… the most important factor in determining negative impact on property values appears to be the level of traffic on any major roads in the proximate area …”
The level of traffic implies the level of noise, which produced a more significant impact on values “… than the presence of a freeway per se.”
Consider a home in an inner-ring suburb near a highway compared to a home further out near a highway. The latter will experience less traffic and, thus, less noise and less of an impact on value.
Two additional considerations
Commuters may be willing to pay more to be able to hop on the freeway in the morning. Those who cherish a quiet night’s sleep, on the other hand, probably shouldn’t be looking at homes near a highway.
Then there’s this random tidbit: Those homes located near a depressed freeway are valued higher than those located near at-grade or elevated freeways.
Again, do the research required because what’s happening outside that bedroom window in your client’s chosen neighborhood may just have a positive impact.
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