The Connection Between Trees, Rental Rates and Property Values

by Shilpi Paul


Researchers with the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station have discovered that the mere existence of a tree can have a positive effect on property values and rental rates, The Daily GOOD reported yesterday.

Layering tree data from Google Earth on top of rent data from Craigslist in Portland, Oregon, researchers Geoffrey Donovan and David Butry found evidence that units with or around trees can fetch higher rents than their barren neighbors. Specifically, trees directly on the property increased a unit’s rental rates by at least $5 a month; trees just outside the property line increased the rate by $21 per month, on average. (In an earlier study, Donovan found that trees on an adjacent property increase a home’s value by $13,000, on average).

While this study was restricted to Portland, thanks to the EPA, DC landlords and homeowners may eventually see the effects of lush greenery on rents and property values across the city.

Last week, The Washington Post reported that the EPA renewed DC’s stormwater permit under conditions that will dramatically “green” the District. Under the new contract, the city must develop a plan to plant 4,150 trees annually throughout the city, with a goal of reaching DC-wide canopy (tree) coverage of 40 percent by 2035. Canopy coverage in DC now stands at 35 percent. According to the new contract, DC also must create a Green Landscaping Incentives Program within the year, encouraging residential developers and designers to consider eco-friendly designs.

While renters are probably not thrilled by news that new trees near their apartments could mean higher monthly payments, home owners might want to start lobbying the city to plant trees on their neighbor’s property.

See other articles related to: trees, renting in dc, home values, home prices

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/a_clear_intersection_between_trees_and_rent_prices/4327


  1. jag said at 6:26 pm on Tuesday October 11, 2011:

    I very much considered my balcony and the smallish park it overlooked as pretty big pluses when buying.

  1. Kirsten Stade said at 9:32 pm on Wednesday October 12, 2011:

    No shortage of trees here in Takoma Park, and I’m glad for our tree ordinance that seeks to keep it that way. Wonder how it changes things up when surrounding trees are engulfed by kudzu…and wonder if the type of tree—flowering or fruiting, invasive or native—makes any difference?

  1. Mark Jordan said at 1:44 pm on Thursday October 13, 2011:

    Great article. I’m surprised nobody has made this connection before, though. It makes perfect sense to me: trees beautify, and provide shade and insulation. Why wouldn’t you pay a little extra? You probably make that extra back in heating and cooling costs.

Comments are closed.

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