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Can toll prices changes affect the housing market? The case of the Severn crossing toll removal

Protopsalti, D. & Skouralis, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-0835-1457 (2024). Can toll prices changes affect the housing market? The case of the Severn crossing toll removal. Journal of European Real Estate Research, 17(1), pp. 87-101. doi: 10.1108/jerer-09-2023-0034



Since 1966, the Severn crossing has been connecting England and Wales. In January 2018, its ownership returned to the UK Government, and this marked the start of a toll-free journey across the two countries and made commuting between the regions more affordable. In this paper, we examine the impact of the toll removal on the property market.


We employ property-level data from the Land Registry and a difference-in-differences (DiD) empirical model for the periods 2016–2018 and 2019–2021 to capture the pre- and post-toll removal dynamics. The DiD estimation allows us to examine the causal relationship between policy changes and property prices.


Our findings suggest that property prices in Newport and Monmouthshire (South East Wales) are positively affected by the policy, which results in a statistically significant increase of 5.8% more than those located in the South West England (Bristol and South Gloucestershire) region in the period 2019–2021. The impact can reach up to 13.1% for properties located in a 10 km radius of the bridge. The results indicate that the toll removal enables the ripple effect across the two markets by reducing commuting costs.


This is the first paper that examines the Severn Crossing case study. Its contribution is significant since we provide empirical evidence on how reduced transportation costs increase property prices in the lowest income region and have the opposite effect on the area with higher incomes and economic activity levels.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited. This AAM is provided for your own personal use only. It may not be used for resale, reprinting, systematic distribution, emailing, or for any other commercial purpose without the permission of the publisher.
Publisher Keywords: House Prices ; Toll removal ; Transportation costs; Ripple Effect ; Difference- in-Differences
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Departments: Bayes Business School
Bayes Business School > Finance
SWORD Depositor:
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