Park life: The premium we are willing to pay to live next to a park

Proximity to city parks adds a considerable extra to urban property prices

Words: Flora Harley, Senior Analyst, Knight Frank Research

At a glance

  1. New York's Central Park and London's Regent’s Park came out on top for the highest 'park premiums', commanding 29% more for park facing properties compared to those up to 150m away
  2. Hyde Park’s average uplift was still significant at 18%. This is reflective, perhaps, of the availability of garden squares in the immediate vicinity of the park, particularly in Mayfair and Knightsbridge
  3. In assessing the data for Central Park, we have focused specifically on newly built developments on the Upper East Side and Central Park South which command a premium of the views being offered from newer, high-rise buildings.
The full read

Green space in a city is a highly sought-after commodity. The idea of escaping the hustle and bustle and enjoying natural scenery is an attractive one: but how much more are buyers prepared to pay to live facing a park compared with being up to 150m away?

When it comes to values for a flat, the answer, based on an analysis of the average value of homes around two major parks in London and one in New York, is significant.

It is important to note that it is not only easy access to green space that can enhance a property’s value. There are many factors at play, including the size and quality of housing stock close to parks as opposed to further away and the amenities on offer at a particular residence, as well as external factors such as proximity to quality schools.

Yet average prices clearly reflect the fact that for many, being close to green space is worth a considerable premium. Using our own and third party data combined with geospatial analytics, we compared average sales prices for park-facing properties with neighbouring properties around three of the world’s most famous parks, Hyde Park and Regent’s Park in London and Central Park in New York.

Central Park and Regent’s Park came out on top for the highest premiums, commanding 29% more for park-facing properties. Hyde Park’s average uplift was somewhat lower but still significant at 18%, perhaps reflecting the availability of garden squares in the immediate vicinity, which can, particularly in Mayfair and Knightsbridge, command some of the highest premiums in central London.

In assessing the data for Central Park, we have focused specifically on newly built developments on the Upper East Side and Central Park South. Andrew Wachtfogel, Senior Vice President of Research & Analytics for Douglas Elliman, notes that the premium for Central Park South “is driven not only by proximity but by the views being offered from the newer high-rise buildings.”

He continues that “the Upper East Side, however, holds one of the most historic links as a prime area.” The Regent’s Park and Hyde Park analysis included assessing the current value of all flats, both new and existing, surrounding each park.

Declan Selbo, from Knight Frank’s St John’s Wood office, says that “living in close proximity to Regent’s Park offers security, privacy, unique architecture and incredible views, not to mention the occasional opportunity of seeing a giraffe. Something you are unlikely to get in any other area."