The Financial Impact of Street-Level Greenery on New York Commercial Buildings
31 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2020 Last revised: 10 Nov 2020
Date Written: October 2, 2020
Urban street-level greenery is empirically documented to improve mental and physical health, increase productivity, increase urban environmental equality and reduce carbon footprints. In addition, these benefits raise residents' welfare, which has been correlated with increases in residential house prices. We measure street-level greenness in New York City through a novel Green View Index (GVI) using Google Street View images and assess the impacts of greenness on commercial real estate prices. Using a sample of office transactions, we spatially correlate Google Street View Images for New York City over the 2010 to 2017 period. We find a 8.9% to 10.5% statistically, economically and positive transaction premium and a 5.6% to 7.8% rent premium for offices with low to high street-level greenness relative to those building transactions spatially correlated with very low greenness. Estimations are robust to proximity to parks, subway stations, sidewalk widths, household income levels and investments by Building Improvement Districts, as well as other vital and standard office valuation features. By documenting the role of greenery in commercial building valuations, our results give a more complete understanding of the value of greenness in urban environments, and the economic role that urban landscape architecture, planning and development has upon cities.
Keywords: Street Greenery, Google Street View, Hedonic Valuation, Commercial Real Estate
JEL Classification: R33, R39, 033
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation