The scoop on the value of neighborhood trees

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.

If you have any questions, or real estate appraisal or property tax appeal needs in the Greater Sacramento Region, contact Lundquist Appraisal by phone 916-595-3735, email, Facebook or subscribe to posts by email.

Comments

  1. Kevin says

    Like to know what is the difference in value of the Tree in the front yard, Oak vs. Sycamore?, Pine vs. Eucalypse? How about a very large tree yet a small front yard? The areas mentioned above in the article have the advantage of being on the avg. large lots, so a large tree in the front of the house seems to blend in better than a small house with a huge tree in front. The neighborhoods also mentioned have th

    • says

      Kevin, that would take quite a bit of research and surveying of market participants to determine how much of a difference there would be between types of trees (if any difference). Lot size certainly does play into the overall value of the property. A larger lot with a larger tree fits in nicely with the information in this article. A small lot with a very large tree may not sit well. However, how much of that lot does the tree really take up? Maybe the tree would provide an enormous amount of shade to the house that would still be a positive feature. What do you think?

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