I read a short article last week entitled “City Trees and Property Values” (pdf) by Dr. Kathleen L. Wolf after hearing a representative from the SacTree Foundation speak at a Realtor event. Dr. Wolf’s research shows that trees generally increase property value. Her study indicated a 2% price increase for a property with a mature tree (greater than 9 inches thick), 3-5% increase for trees in the front yard, and 10-15% increase for mature trees in high-income neighborhoods.
While initially some of her stats seem startling, I do think she is right that trees add to the overall value of a property. This doesn’t mean a house is automatically worth 2 or 9% more due to having the tree set-up she mentioned, but trees generally do yield a value contribution. In an objective sense, trees add worth due to boosting energy efficiency due to shade, while there is also a subjective element where they tend to increase curb appeal among buyers. It’s hard to ignore that some of the most highly priced and sought-after streets in the Sacramento area are lined with enormous trees. Think the Fabulous 40s, Curtis Park, Land Park or Arden Park to name just a few. Granted, these streets typically have very large and well-maintained houses too, but there is no mistaking that a canopy of mature trees stretching along a particular street tends to give a very positive impression to buyers in the market for that street in comparison to others. Agree? Disagree?
Here is a video of Jacobe Caditz with the Sacramento Tree Foundation speaking about the benefit of trees last week at the Sacramento Association of Realtors.
What do you think? How have you seen trees or a lack of trees impact real estate value? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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