When communities consider building parks and playgrounds, they may naturally focus on the environmental benefits of creating green spaces or highlight the human aspect of projects that promote physical activity, social interaction, and mental well-being.
Lost in the equation sometimes is the fact that parks and playgrounds can have a positive effect on neighborhood home values.
“Creating a green space benefits property values and the lives of residents and visitors in the area,” writes Kathleen Wolf, Ph.D, in the University of Washington’s Urban Forestry/Urban Greening Research on “Green Cities: Good Health”. “Homes that are adjacent to naturalist parks and open spaces are valued at 8-to-20 percent higher than comparable properties.”
Home Values Can Rise Near Parks and Playgrounds
According to Wolf’s research, more than 30 studies have shown that people are willing to pay more for a property that is located close to an urban open space than for a home that does not offer such an amenity.
The finding is known as the “proximate principle” and studies that evaluate the effects of parks and open space that usually contain trees and forests can increase home values under the following conditions:
- 10 percent increase for inner city homes located within a quarter mile of a park.
- 10 percent increase for homes located 2 to 3 blocks from heavily-used, active recreation parks.
- 17 percent increase for homes located near cleaned-up vacant lots.
- 20 percent increase for homes adjacent to or fronting a passive park area.
- 32 percent increase for residential developments adjacent to greenbelts.
The research also noted a linear decline with distance from the edge of an open space, with a positive price effect declining to near zero at about half mile away.
It also pays to maintain your local playground or park as the research also showed a decline in property values if the homes were near unkempt facilities or those in need of repair and maintenance.
How Parks and Playgrounds Increase Property Values
In the real estate business, there is a term called “external obsolescence” that accounts for how a property can lose value to things that are off the property (and out of its control!) such as messy neighbors, nearby road noise or high-voltage towers.
“When it comes to real estate and property; location matters as much as, if not more than, the actual details of the house,” says real estate service Home Bay.
Neighborhood parks and playgrounds can counter external obsolescence and add value to homes by:
- Improving Curb Appeal: Parks and playgrounds can make an entire neighborhood more visually appealing.
- Increasing Quality of Life: Residents of all ages appreciate the opportunity for physical activity and green space to enjoy nature.
- Family Friendly: Parents with children and active teens are not just shopping for a home but a neighborhood with amenities that their family can utilize.
- Green Initiative: Parks and playgrounds make our neighborhoods and communities environmentally healthier, especially with the application of mature trees.
- Walkability: In the age of remote work, many new home buyers are looking for property where they do not have to depend on their car. Parks and playgrounds add to a neighborhood’s walkability.
Home Bay says to think of that neighborhood playground or park as an amenity to the property you own: “Convenience is a major factor when people are looking to buy. If your home is in a neighborhood with lots of amenities, such as a park, community pool and nearby supermarket, it will be more appealing, and worth more, to buyers, compared to a house that’s in a more remote or less-settled area.”
In the end, increased property values are a bonus of playgrounds and parks which already provide a community with so much enjoyment.
Contact May Recreation in the Houston area to find out how we can create a new playground that will improve your neighborhood’s curb appeal.