When new rail connections are discussed in America, there is a strong misconception, particularly among politicians, that more trains will mean lower property values for the communities served. It may seem counter-intuitive, but such backwards thinking caused a commuter rail line running from Minneapolis to my college town, Northfield, to be killed off a few years ago by anxious state legislators from some communities served by the line (Thanks a lot). So it was with a mix of smugness and sadness that I read this article on the effect of Spain’s high-speed AVE network on house prices:
Spain’s high-speed rail network (AVE) plays a significant role in pushing up property prices throughout the country.
To prove this theory Kyero has launched a new Spanish house price index, which shows property prices in towns and cities served by AVE stations outperform their provincial averages. For example, house prices in Málaga, which is served by the AVE line, are currently 24.7 per cent more expensive than in Andalucia and 23.7 per cent higher than the national average across Spain. Prices in Seville and Córdoba also show a similar trend, where properties are within easy reach of AVE stations.
It makes perfect sense: people like living close to transportation, particularly fast and convenient services such as high-speed trains. Let’s just hope that our own lawmakers can pick up on these trends when making decisions concerning our own rail infrastructure.