Presenter/Author Information

Marius Thériault
Yan Kestens
François Des Rosiers

Keywords

wooded areas, house value, residential location choices, value of mature trees, modelling

Start Date

1-7-2002 12:00 AM

Description

When choosing their home, households are willing to maximize their satisfaction and utility while trying to avoid noise and inconvenience. Along with economic constraints, this decision process involves several types of criteria, including preferences and perception of environment in the neighbourhood. Previous research in spatial economy has addressed the impact of vegetation and environment quality on single-family house values, using hedonic price models. However, assessing the economic valuation of trees is not sufficient to fully understand the choice-setting mechanisms behind the conversion of environmental preferences into residential location choices. New modelling approaches integrating behaviour, attitudes, tradeoffs and motivations could certainly improve our understanding of people’s valuation of nature. This paper develops such a behavioural model considering a housing market which was firstly analysed using the hedonic modelling approach. Logistic regression was then used in order to model households' propensity for buying a house on a wooded lot (with mature trees). Our purpose is to highlight the potential of combining economic and behavioural modelling to enhance understanding of landscaping in urban regions. Our research integrates various data sets collected in Quebec City from 1993 to 2001: an opinion poll of 640-home buyers; a summary of their transactions (sale price); in-site surveys of properties to assess vegetation status; socioeconomic attributes of families; census data; accessibility to services modelled using GIS; finally, a full description of transacted homes. Results indicate that impact of mature trees on house value is highly related to family composition and stated appreciation of wooded areas. Effect varies according to the socioeconomic status of the neighbourhood, ranging from -9% to 15%. Furthermore, choosing a location with mature trees imply compromising on both access to regional and local-level services and the depreciation status of the house. Moreover, this choice is closely related to household composition and stated preferences for wooded locations.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

The Impact of Mature Trees on House Values and on Residential Location Choices in Quebec City

When choosing their home, households are willing to maximize their satisfaction and utility while trying to avoid noise and inconvenience. Along with economic constraints, this decision process involves several types of criteria, including preferences and perception of environment in the neighbourhood. Previous research in spatial economy has addressed the impact of vegetation and environment quality on single-family house values, using hedonic price models. However, assessing the economic valuation of trees is not sufficient to fully understand the choice-setting mechanisms behind the conversion of environmental preferences into residential location choices. New modelling approaches integrating behaviour, attitudes, tradeoffs and motivations could certainly improve our understanding of people’s valuation of nature. This paper develops such a behavioural model considering a housing market which was firstly analysed using the hedonic modelling approach. Logistic regression was then used in order to model households' propensity for buying a house on a wooded lot (with mature trees). Our purpose is to highlight the potential of combining economic and behavioural modelling to enhance understanding of landscaping in urban regions. Our research integrates various data sets collected in Quebec City from 1993 to 2001: an opinion poll of 640-home buyers; a summary of their transactions (sale price); in-site surveys of properties to assess vegetation status; socioeconomic attributes of families; census data; accessibility to services modelled using GIS; finally, a full description of transacted homes. Results indicate that impact of mature trees on house value is highly related to family composition and stated appreciation of wooded areas. Effect varies according to the socioeconomic status of the neighbourhood, ranging from -9% to 15%. Furthermore, choosing a location with mature trees imply compromising on both access to regional and local-level services and the depreciation status of the house. Moreover, this choice is closely related to household composition and stated preferences for wooded locations.