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Attractive natural areas push up house prices

30 March 2016

It is generally assumed that houses gain a few percentage points in price if they are located within about 500 metres of a natural area, and that a nice view has a particularly strong influence on house prices. Michiel Daams concludes that the value of natural areas for house buyers is much higher when they perceive it to be attractive.

Attractive natural areas can push up house prices within a radius of as much as seven kilometres, Daams concludes. If you live close to an attractive natural area, then the effect is the strongest: 16% of the house price, whereby a view of the natural area is not essential. The further away you are, the smaller the effect of course: 1.6% at a distance of 7 kilometres, and after that that it becomes negligible. Although the effect per house is relatively small at a distance of 7 kilometres, it does affect the prices of lots of houses at that distance. As a result, nature is worth a lot more to the housing market than previously thought.

Daams states that his findings can support much greater investment in attractive natural areas (or their maintenance) in and around cities than was previously possible. This is relevant for the wellbeing of city dwellers, for nature managers, and for urban planning policies. Daams shows that more policy initiatives are needed, particularly around cities, to provide people with access to attractive natural areas.

Michiel Daams conducted his research at the department of Economic Geography of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences. The research forms part of the tWIST programme – towards Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation. The project also falls under the Wadden Sea Long-Term Research project, which funded half of the research. Daams is currently a postdoc researcher at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences.

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