It is already well established that greenspaces such as parks and bushland have a positive effect on the climate, and on our mental wellbeing. But how much does the property market value these spaces?
Surprisingly few studies have been conducted globally, and even fewer in Australia, into the subject of house prices and greenspace.
The latest by Corelogic, found a “positive but weak” correlation between greenspace and housing prices in Sydney. However, spokesperson Tim Lawless said this could come down to several factors unique to the city, and that the correlation may become more pronounced over time if greenspaces become more scarce.
Unlike many major global cities, Sydney currently has a relatively high percentage of public and private greenspace, which may lead to consumers placing less of a premium on them.
“As Australia’s climate change strategies and domestic policy evolve over the years ahead, the market’s readiness to value ‘greenness’ as a tangible property feature may strengthen,” Mr Lawless said.
Compared to far lower rates in European cities such as London and Amsterdam — which have 33 and 13 per cent respectively — close to half of Sydney, or 46 per cent is made up of parks, bushland, private gardens and other green areas.
“The manner in which the Australian public relate to and value property, is distinctly different to other markets; as a result the value ascribed to greenspace may also be different,” Mr Lawless said.
Studies in other parts of the world have shown more clear correlations, with one meta-analysis of Europe, North America and Australasia showing that in the case of one Danish city, urban nature areas drove house prices up by as much as 20 per cent compared to areas without.
In Australia a 2013 study found a 5-7 per cent increase in the price of Melbourne properties that were directly adjacent to a park, with another study yielding similar results in Perth the following year.
Corelogic plans to conduct a more detailed, nationwide study to assess the relationship between greenspace and property prices.
“Looking forward, as our cities grow and densify, it’s likely the relationship between greenspace and housing values will become clearer and more widespread,” Lawless said.
“For higher density areas, the inclusion of public greenspace areas in the planning and design is…important, with projects that offer green amenity likely to stimulate greater demand and price premiums over those that have less of a connection with green areas.”