Leafy streets and tree-filled backyards can add up to $20k to house prices

It might seem obvious, but now it's official. Living in a green leafy suburb and even planting trees in your own backyard, can add a significant amount of money to the value of your home.

Lyndal Plant, a researcher from the University of Queensland, made the findings. She said the research made a solid economic case for retaining and increasing greenery in Brisbane's suburbs.

"My research at the University of Queensland was to help justify investment in leafy streets and more broadly to justify ongoing investment in green infrastructure," she said. "I looked particularly at property value benefits that home owners might be willing to pay, including control factors that would influence price otherwise.

"When we put that into the equation it revealed home buyers were prepared to pay a significant premium to live in a leafy street and that premium was up to 3 per cent."

Taking Brisbane's median house price of $551,840 into account, that translates to roughly $16,000.

But Dr Plant said the big news was that planting trees on private property had a similar effect, up to a certain point.

"Too many trees on the property was actually a negative. There was a threshold of tree cover on the property that flipped it around and made it a premium," she said. "The flipping point was about 20 per cent, which is about one tree or about two trees covering a fifth of the land."

Because of the precision required, Dr Plant recommended engaging an arborist.

Peter Mumford, senior arborist at Arbor Operations, said it was important to take care while greening up your property.

"It's important for property owners to plant trees that will suit their property's size," he said.

Along with improving price, planting trees on your property has further benefits.

"Mature trees provide beauty, a cooler environment, privacy, improved air quality, screening and a sense of peace," Mr Mumford said. "They also improve health and lower stress levels.

"A beautiful garden with well-tended trees and shrubs can not only add value to a home, but according to research will often sell more quickly than a similar house with minimal to no landscaping."

Dr Plant also runs a consultancy and has advised council on building green infrastructure. She said the council had the right idea already, but was concerned private citizens didn't know they could do more too.

"It's not too much to ask and I think that's something that's getting lost in the picture," she said. "Councils are doing their best and more than they used to to increase tree cover on streets and private parks but let's not give up on private property."

This story Leafy streets and tree-filled backyards can add up to $20k to house prices first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.