20
April
2018
|
09:38
Europe/Amsterdam

More greenery, higher-valued homes

font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;mso-ansi-language:EN-GB">Homebuyers are willing to pay 3 per cent more to live in a greener neighbourhood according to the study by NUS Science and the Future Cities Laboratory (Photo: Future Cities Laboratory; Photographer: Carli Teteris)

Accessibility, proximity to facilities such as shopping malls and hawker centres, and an apartment’s condition are some of the key considerations when purchasing a new home. However, researchers have found that the extent of green spaces in a neighbourhood also plays a part in nudging homebuyers towards making that all important decision.

A study conducted by Mr Richard Belcher from Future Cities Laboratory at the Singapore-ETH Centre and his former Master’s degree supervisor at NUS Science Assistant Professor Ryan Chisholm found that homebuyers in Singapore are willing to pay more to live in a greener neighbourhood. The study revealed that public housing apartments with more green spaces within 1,600m commanded higher average resale prices, with an average of 3 per cent of the resale value attributed to having nearby green spaces.

The findings were based on an analysis of the sale prices of close to 16,000 apartments on Singapore’s Housing and Development Board resale market over a 13-month period between 2013 and 2014.

The results vindicate Singapore’s policy of providing extensive green spaces for residents’ recreation and could encourage the provision of more green spaces in tropical cities worldwide. 

It was also observed from the study that higher resale values mostly resulted from proximity to managed green spaces such as public parks, park connectors and managed trees and plants surrounding streets and residential estates. Natural vegetation or “high conservation value vegetation” such as forests and freshwater marshes on the other hand, are valued by homebuyers only if there is little managed green spaces in the neighbourhood.

Asst Prof Chisholm said, “The results vindicate Singapore’s policy of providing extensive green spaces for residents’ recreation and could encourage the provision of more green spaces in tropical cities worldwide.”

The preference for managed green spaces also suggests that establishment of new public towns should steer away from conservation areas but continue to be furnished with high quantities of managed vegetation.

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Mr Belcher (left) and Asst Prof Chisholm studied the correlation between apartment sale prices and the surrounding green spaces (Photo: Future Cities Laboratory; Photographer: Carli Teteris)

In actuality, the researchers believe that the real value of green spaces could be even higher. 

“The value we have found may be undervalued because homebuyers may not be fully informed of the benefits of having more greenery,” said Mr Belcher. Such benefits include lowering temperatures by providing shade, thereby reducing the need for air-conditioning. “A comprehensive education programme and further research into the economic value of green spaces for city residents is therefore necessary to encourage appropriate city planning and judicious preservation of green spaces.”