The Value of Landscaping

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Here at H&G we’re often asked how money spent on landscaping affects property value. I have yet to encounter a definitive answer so I thought we could provide some scientific studies and let you decide for yourself. Below are a number of links and excerpts to websites discussing the topic. I’d love to hear your conclusions.

Data Watch: How People Upgrade Their Yards and What It Costs

Erin Carlyle, Houzz, 2017

“How much people spend. As with all renovations and home projects, costs can range quite widely, depending on the work done and the labor costs in the location where the project takes place. That said, the results of the survey reveal some interesting price trends. The most common level of spending for an outdoor project is between $1,001 and $5,000, the survey found. A total spend of $1,000 or less is the second most common price level. “

Landscaping and House Values: An Empirical Investigation

Francois Des Rosiers, Marius Theriault,Yan Kestens and Paul Villeneuve, Journal of Real Estate Research, 2002

“Finally, a hedge, a landscaped, patio as well as landscaped curbs all command a substantial market premium: while it amounts to between 3.6% (Model 3) and 3.9% (Model 2) of property value for a hedge, it reaches 12.4% in the case of a patio and 4.4% for landscaped curbs (Model 3). Applying Model 2 using the mean value for each landscaping-related variable and assuming the presence of a hedge results in a 7.7% market premium for either a typical bungalow or a cottage.”

Landscape Plant Material, Size, and Design Sophistication Increase Perceived Home Value

B. Behe et al. Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, 2005

“Results of this study indicate that a ‘good’ landscape adds, depending on region of the country, anywhere from 6 to 11% to the base value of the home. The landscape attributes that contributed most to the increase in perceived home value were, in order, design sophistication, plant size, and plant material type. Clearly, the investment in a good landscape can be recovered and increase the perceived value of a home. The minimalist landscapes, with small plant size and little sophistication, even detracted from the perceived value of the home. The landscape company manager now has concrete data to show that a good landscape adds to the value of a home, and is a home improvement that will increase perceived home value and, unlike most home improvements, appreciate over time.”

Landscape Quality and the Price of Single Family Houses: Further Evidence from Home Sales in Greenville, South Carolina

M. Henry, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Clemson University Journal of Environmental Horticulture, 1999

“The results obtained in this research are similar to the earlier study of Greenville homes. In the earlier study, the base of comparison was poor-average landscaping versus good or excellent landscaping. In the 1991–93 sample, upgrades from good to excellent returned about 4% to 5% and from poor/average to good, the return in higher home prices was 7% to 9%. In the 1996–97 sample, the home price premium attributable to upgrading landscaping quality from good to excellent is 6% to 7% while from average to good, it is about 4% to 5%.”

Influence of Trees on Residential Property Values in Athens, Georgia (U.S.A.): A Survey Based on Actual Sales Prices

L.M. Anderson and H.K. Cordell, USDA Forest Service, 1987

“This study used regression statistics to differentiate among the many features contributing to the sales price of single family houses. Using this approach to solving the “comparability” problem, we were able to analyze a large number of actual sales of real estate. The results indicate that trees are associated with a 3.5-4.5% increase in the selling price of single family dwellings. Taking into account the differences in our methods, our results are quite close to the 7% price increase found by Payne ( 1973), and taking into account the wide range of properties we used, rather than a limited number of subdivisions, our results are also quite close to the 6% price increase in Morales’ ( 1976) study. Our smaller estimate of the price increase may be attributed in part to the relative abundance of trees and other urban vegetation in most residential areas in Athens and surrounding areas.”

The Value of Trees, Water and Open Space as Reflected by House Prices in the Netherlands

J. Luttik, Landscape and Urban Planning, 2000 

“We found the largest increases in house prices due to environmental factors (up to 28%) for houses with a garden facing water, which is connected to a sizeable lake. We were also able to demonstrate that a pleasant view can lead to a considerable increase in house price, particularly if the house overlooks water (8–10%) or open space (6–12%). In addition, the analysis revealed that house price varies by landscape type. Attractive landscape types were shown to attract a premium of 5–12% over less attractive environmental settings.”

The Market Value of Mature Trees in Single-Family Housing Markets

J. Dombrow, Mauricio Rodriguez, and C.F. Sirmans, Appraisal Journal, 2000

“The existence of mature trees is reflected in the market price of residential real estate. According to this study, an appraiser adjusting a comparable sale of an average-size home without mature trees in the studied geographic area would be supported in adding approximately 2% to the value of a single-family house that has mature trees.”

Residential Property Values Improved by Landscaping with Trees

Anderson, L. M.; Cordell, H. K., Southern Journal of Applied Forestry, 1985 

A 3 to 5% increase in the sales prices of-single-family houses in Athens, Georgia, was associated with the presence of trees in their landscaping, according to data from real estate records on over 800 house sales from 1978 to 1980. The average house sold for about $47,000 and had five front-yard trees visible in its Multiple Listing Service photographs. An average sales price increase of $1,700 to $2,100 was associated with the presence of these trees. This increase in property value represents an income of over $200,000 a year to the city in property tax revenues.”

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