Economic Added Value of Trees

Historical research has shown that property prices are consistently higher where trees are present.

Trees impact property values on an aesthetic level and in transforming your garden by planting trees, financial rewards will follow. Urban areas are ideal in this study as a lot of data regarding home sales is available.  According to studies done in the United States and the UK, the following facts emerged.

The presence of trees has a positive effect on residential home sales.  Where similar homes were assessed, the property with trees was estimated to be worth between 6 and 15 percent more than a property with no trees.  Neighbourhood green spaces and tree lined streets also increased the value of homes.

In new urban developments, development costs can be greater where trees are conserved instead of removing trees entirely.  However, builders can recover these extra costs through higher sales prices and faster sales for residences/units built on properties where trees have been preserved.

Commercial land values are also influenced by tree coverage.  Arboreal communities add to the rand value of commercial real estate, and enhance the sales appeal, according to property valuators.  Developers can maximize profits by retaining existing trees or replanting and/or rehabilitating an urban forest after construction is completed.

Surprising facts and figures

Yard and street trees

Homes with trees are generally preferred to those without as shown with the following statistics:

Price Increase                    Condition

2%                                           mature yard trees

3 – 5 %                                  trees in front yard landscaping

6 – 9 %                                  good tree cover in a neighbourhood

10 – 15 %                             mature trees in high-income neighbourhood

Tree Retention in neighbourhood

In residential developments, tree retention can cost more initially, but reports show that buyers are willing to pay more for lots where trees have been preserved.

Price Increase                    Condition

18%                                        building lots with substantial mature tree cover

22%                                        tree-covered undeveloped acreage

19 – 35%                              lots bordering suburban wooded preserves

37%                                        open land that is two-thirds wooded

Parks and Open space

Buyers are willing to pay more for properties that has close proximity to parks or open spaces.  Homes are typically valued 8 to 20% more than comparable properties.

Price Increase                    Condition

10%                                        urban home located within 400 m of park

10%                                        house a few blocks from active recreation park

20%                                        home adjacent to a passive park area

32%                                        residential development adjacent to greenbelts

Retail and Commercial

Non-residential values are improved by attractive tree planting initiatives.

Price Increase                    Condition

7%                                          rental rates for offices with quality landscaping

9 – 12%                                 increase in consumer spending in tree rich business areas

23 %                                       homes within 400 m of prestigious commercial corridors

# Statistics courtesy of Wolf, K.L. August 2007. City Trees and Property Values. Arborist News 16, 4: 34-36.