Is What You See What You Get? The Value of Natural Landscape Views

Margaret Walls, Carolyn Kousky and Ziyan Chu


Views of natural areas and green space may have value quite apart from access to those lands. Using 25 years of home sales data from St. Louis County, Missouri, and modern geographic information system tools to measure views, we estimate a hedonic property fixed-effects model that captures the effects of changing land cover on house sale prices. Unlike previous studies, our approach minimizes bias from omitted variables and uniquely captures changes over time. We find that forest views negatively affect home prices, whereas farmland views have positive effects. Changes in relative scarcity of these land types over time may explain the findings. (JEL Q51, R14)

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