.|  Baltimore Ecosystem Study
Demographic and Socioeconomic Research Projects

 

Analysis of Property Values in Relation to Environmental Amenities
  • Morgan Grove, Northeastern Research Station, USDA Forest Service
  • Austin Troy, University of Colorado, Denver

 
We have statistically analyzed the relationship between property values and environmental amenities, including parks and tree canopy, for Baltimore City. A recently completed analysis addressed the fact that while urban parks are generally considered to be a positive amenity, past research suggests that some parks are perceived as a neighborhood liability. Using hedonic analysis of property data we attempted to determine whether crime rate mediates how parks are perceived and valued. Transacted price was regressed against park proximity, robbery rates for the surrounding neighborhood, and an interaction term, adjusting for a number other variables. Our results indicate that park proximity is positively valued by the housing market where neighborhood robbery rates are under 650% of the national average (the average rate for Baltimore is 723% of the national average), but negatively valued where park robbery rates are above 650%. The higher or lower the robbery rate is above or below 650%, the steeper the relationship is between park proximity and home value. The same statistical analysis also revealed that tree canopy has a positive effect on property value but not until canopy cover reaches roughly 55%.
 

Figure 1: Relationship between park proximity and home value, holding all else constant, at a robbery index of 800
 

Figure 2: Relationship between park proximity and home value, holding all else constant, at a robbery index of 400
 

Figure 3. Map of Baltimore parks by crime level
 

Figure 4. Sample properties with color graduated by price effect resulting from park proximity and crime levels, holding all else constant