Portland Real Estate Insider: Trees Add Monetary Value to Homes for Sale in Portland

Everyone loves a home with mature, beautiful trees, but how much value does greenery add to homes for sale? As covered in a recent article published in Nursery Magazine, new research from the Pacific Northwest Research Station determined specific dollar values for neighborhood trees in Portland. This is great news for those of us that treasure the trees and wildlife of the Pacific Northwest, resources that can often be placed second to new construction and development. The main factors considered in determining these dollar values were “environmental and social amenities” including cleaner air, moderated storm runoff, reduction of environmental CO2, elevated property values, reduced heating and cooling costs, and improved human health. Similar studies in New York City determined that the five boroughs’ 600,000 street trees provide a financial benefit of $122 million a year, which totals more than five times the cost of maintaining them, but the Portland housing study is one of the first to look at the value of street trees on the Portland real estate market.

Across the board in Portland Neighborhoods, you can easily see a general correlation between trees and homes – bigger trees tend to be in higher valued neighborhoods. The researchers at the Pacific Northwest Research Station used actual house price sales to determine the monetary value of trees. They determined that trees added measurable value to homes for sale in Portland, just like a third bedroom or extra square-footage. On average, street trees add $8,870 to the price of homes for sale, the equivalent of 129 extra finished square feet. What’s more, street trees decreased the time on the market of homes for sale in Portland by nearly two days, and one single tree can raise the value of multiple houses. Overall, Portland’s trees have an added real estate value of $1.1 billion dollars! As part of Portland’s 5-year Grey to Green initiative, the city plans to plant 33,000 yard trees and 50,000 street trees by July 2013. Included in the Grey to Green budget is the Treebate program, which provides a utility-bill credit to homeowners who plant trees in their yards. Trees can further save money by reducing energy bills. Yard trees add shade and lowering air conditioning costs in the summer, and provide protection from the wind, lowering heating costs in the winter.

Earlier this year, CNN featured an interesting study done by the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest and Southern Research Stations in the Portland area that found that areas with larger, taller, well-maintained trees had less neighborhood theft and overall crime than areas with smaller trees. It turns out that tall trees “can reduce crime by signaling to a potential criminal that a neighborhood is better cared for and, therefore, a criminal is more likely to be caught…Large yard trees also were associated with lower crime rates, most likely because they are less view-obstructing than smaller trees.” All of this is great news for people who love nature, and anyone who loves the beautiful city of Portland. All of the tree-related research findings help convince taxpayers and property owners that cities have a legitimate public interest in cultivating and protecting their trees.

Some of the most well-known leafy neighborhoods in Portland are the  Irvington Neighborhood, the City of Maywood Park, the Rose City Park Neighborhood, the Forest Heights Neighborhood, the Homestead Neighborhood, and Ladd’s Addition, though almost every Portland neighborhood boasts tree-lined avenues and shady foliage. Contact the McDonald Group Portland Real Estate Experts today to find the greenest areas to buy homes for sale in Portland, and check out our photo tour of Portland’s beautiful trees dressed up in the colors of fall.


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