What is a Tree Worth? Green-City Strategies and Housing Prices

19 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2006  

Susan M. Wachter

University of Pennsylvania - Wharton School, Department of Real Estate

Grace Wong Bucchianeri

University of Pennsylvania - Real Estate Department

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2006

Abstract

We investigate the correlation between curb-side tree plantings and housing price movements in Philadelphia from 1998 to 2003, comparing two programs, one by the Philadelphia Horticultural Society that requires block-group effort that focuses on lowincome neighbourhoods and the other by the Fairmount Park Commission that is individual-based without specific target areas. A 7 to 11 percent price differential is identified within 4000ft of the Fairmount tree plantings. We argue that this is largely driven by either social capital creation or a signaling mechanism, on the top of an intrinsic tree value (around 2 percent). Findings using the PHS tree program suggest that development of social capital or environmentally-conscious behavior might be a less important channel. Any positive changes brought by the PHS tree plantings were not detected with sufficient statistical power.

Suggested Citation

Wachter, Susan M. and Bucchianeri, Grace Wong, What is a Tree Worth? Green-City Strategies and Housing Prices (July 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=931736 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.931736

Susan M. Wachter (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Wharton School, Department of Real Estate ( email )

The Wharton School
3620 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6330
United States
215-898-6355 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://real.wharton.upenn.edu/~wachter/index.html

Grace Wong Bucchianeri

University of Pennsylvania - Real Estate Department ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6330
United States

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