The study found that on average, buyers here would pay 3.0 percent more to live in a greener neighbourhood.
Singapore buyers are willing to pay more for homes located near green spaces, revealed a new study.
The study on resale prices of 15,962 HDB flats from April 2013 to April 2014 showed that units with more green spaces within a 1,600m radius fetched higher prices.
Richard Belcher from the Future Cities Laboratory at the Singapore-ETH Centre and Ryan Chisholm, assistant professor, department of biological sciences at the National University of Singapore, attributed an average of 3.0 percent or $11,200 of a HDB flat’s resale value to nearby green space.
This works out to a total of $179 million for all public housing units sold during the 13-month period.
The positive effect came almost entirely from managed vegetation such as park connectors, public parks and vegetation surrounding residential estates.
“These results vindicate Singapore’s policy of providing extensive green spaces for residents’ recreation, and could encourage the provision of more green spaces in tropical cities worldwide,” said Chisholm.
However, the effect on prices of units near natural vegetation such as mangroves, marshes and forests was varied. The study noted that buyers seem to value these ‘high conservation value vegetation’ only when there is relatively little managed vegetation nearby.
“The lower value placed on proximity to high conservation value forests indicate that to further increase biodiversity in tropical cities, education programmes should inform residents of the real benefits of having natural high conservation value forests in their neighbourhood,” said Belcher.
He explained that the presence of more greenery in and around buildings can help lower surface and air temperatures by providing shade, hence, reducing the need for air-conditioning.
With this, the researchers suggested that new towns should be located away from areas identified for conservation, and should continue to provide high quantities of managed vegetation.
“If too little green space remains within a city, human well-being can suffer because of a lack of opportunities for recreation and to connect with nature,” said Chisholm. “From a conservation perspective, the rapid loss of green spaces in tropical cities is of particular concern because this entails high biodiversity loss.”
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