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Property Values and Train Tracks

Real estate economics: what the research says about train tracks and home values, with input from an expert.

What could a CSX intermodal facility do to home values?

Well, I have seen all kinds of remarks about what people think a CSX intermodal facility would do to local home values. Some gave me a panic, even though I'm in real estate and know we really don't have a way to predict what's going to happen. So I have been doing much research to see what the true figures could be.

I have had the honor to be in contact with Robert (Roby) Simons, Ph.D. He is one of the nation's leading experts on environmental property damages, brownfield redevelopment and real estate economics, and he does research on effects all over the world. Here is what he stated about the research I found:

"The figures developed are for metro Cleveland, the core urban county there, pretty similar to the Baltimore area. [Comparing the] late 1990s and now, behavior...is generally constant across markets [and] should not be all that different....In terms of impact, if you already have tracks there, that would likely mitigate (reduce) net change in losses, and in any case a mid single-digit loss is unlikely to cause an exodus. Train traffic, not just presence of tracks, is also a factor."

If CSX intermodal happens, we would be looking at under 10 percent in value decrease. As a homeowner here in Elkridge/Hanover, I am not happy about it either. As a Realtor, I can tell you there is really no way to know for sure what could happen to home values, 'til it happens. Real estate always has to do with supply and demand. I just wanted to give you the very best research and figures that I could find.

I have attached a copy of the research in a PDF for you to view. Please contact me with any questions you might have by email (Phoebe@kwflagship.com) or by phone (240-593-4128).

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

edb May 20, 2011 at 10:19 PM
The research article you site has no mention of an INTERMODAL FACILITY!!! This article is about proximity to rail tracks and real estate prices. You should have done your research on INTERMODAL FACILITIES before you went off on a tangent and made yourself look stupid.
Mr. Drew May 20, 2011 at 10:31 PM
Note that this study says nothing at all about intermodal terminals or other freight handling facilities. It only talks about proximity to train tracks, and the number of trains per day. One interesting thing, though, is that it says a gated railroad crossing reduces property values. If the Hanover Road crossing were replaced with a bridge, it could be a benefit.
Mike H. May 21, 2011 at 03:48 AM
Look at Birmingham, Alabama, the Pennsylvania facility to the north of us, and other INTERMODALS. Presence of railroad tracks we already understand. You've compared apples to persimmons.
Phoebe Woods Orsini May 21, 2011 at 08:32 PM
I did. There are no other true reports that I could find that had written numbers. I spoke to Dr. Simons and he is a leading expert, before I posted anythink. He aggreed to what was stated. Thank you for your feed back and have a great day.
Phoebe Woods Orsini May 21, 2011 at 08:35 PM
Sorry I did look. I check all my real estate resourse and could not find any better report then this. Yes it was not about and intermodal terminal, but prices will not drop 100K like stated in some other post. Just trying to give Elkridge/Hanover some hopeful news. I do not want it as much as everyone else.
Phoebe Woods Orsini May 21, 2011 at 08:40 PM
I have been looking for more stated numbers. Pennsylvania would not be a good place to compare. There vaule on the housing market is lower then Maryland on homes with or without intermodals. I'm not aware of Alabama, housing market and was unble to find any stated numbers in a true report. Thank you for your feed back.
edb May 22, 2011 at 12:55 AM
People have been interviewed (posted on the Patch a few weeks ago) from other states. They decided not to move at the time the railroad was willing to buy the property (because of the low payoff the railroad was willing to offer). After months of living with the 24 hour noise and lights, these people CANNOT sell their homes at all. In fact, they have become prisoners to their homes because the 100+ trucks park at the facility and bring in the prostitutes and drug traffic. If these people leave their homes to go on vacation, they will come back to a burglarized house or squatters taking up residence. CSX is not going to tell you this!! There are no reports on this other than people who have already had this done to them. Sometimes there just isn't a "true" report.
Susan May 23, 2011 at 03:47 PM
Perhaps you should check with some people who actually live near an Intermodal site? http://stopcsx.blogspot.com/2009/02/chicago-csx-intermodal-site-devastates.html

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