Information about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld


Landscaping & property values

Selling your house? Don't forget the garden! Beautiful landscapes say "class" and could add value to your property. Even if it doesn't increase the price you might expect to achieve, a better garden could give your place the edge over competing properties when buyers are scarce.

Because the sale price of any given home will be affected by a myriad of factors, it would be impossible to state with precision what the projected dollar value of a garden renovation might be. Market conditions as well as the quality and style of the garden are going to have a huge influence, of course.

Nevertheless, most (but not all) research carried out by various organisations over the years tends to support the widespread opinion that money spent on the garden can offer a good return on investment.

Presence of street trees and parks in the neighbourhood are other aspects of landscaping that can impact a property price.

This page is a parking area for older research related to this topic.. Many of the links are probably dead but you might be able to find some of the original articlers via the Wayback machine, or you can contact the relevant organisation if you want to pursue further details.

Some more recent coverage from Get Results Gardening has been posted on its information page:

Greening Daycare
Delivers Health Boost
 ( From Get Results Gardening
   30th October 2020 )

Finnish researchers took the barren playgrounds of urban daycare centres and made them more like a forest floor by the transplantation of assorted shrubs, grasses and mosses plus soil. Planter boxes for planting with annuals and peat blocks for climbing and digging were also added.

Measured improvements in skin and gut microbiota and immune systems indicated that childrens' health can be boosted by playing in and with a more diverse and natural environment and this can be achieved by renovating existing playgrounds. Changes were seen in just one month.

Read more: City Day Care Yards with Forest Floor Boosted Children's Immune Systems, American Association for the Advancement of Science. Full Study: Biodiversity intervention enhances immune regulation and health-associated commensal microbiota among daycare children, Science Advances

Brisbane suburb of Rosalie (now    
part of Paddington), around 1902    
From the State Library of Queensland archives.    

Leafy Suburbs Rate
 ( From Get Results Gardening
   13th December, 2019 )

How easy and pleasant is living in your suburb? Online real estate portal Domain commissioned an analysis to rate suburbs in the Brisbane region. View their rankings here: Greater Brisbane's 260 suburbs ranked for liveability.

Of course, "liveability" is subjective. This study scored suburbs on the basis of 18 indicators. Besides basics like congestion, crime rate and schools, the importance of tree cover, open space and walkability was also factored in. More at the Domain website: Brisbane's Most Liveable Suburbs 2019.

Forever Gardens
 ( From Get Results Gardening
   6th December, 2019 )

Research by Insurance company LV= General Insurance in the United Kingdom has shown that 86% of homeowners there have decided to make improvements to their current home and make it their "forever home".

28% of those living in their "forever home" renovated instead of upgrading to another house due to cost.

Landscaping (39%) was one of the top three improvements people make when settling in forever, after redecorating the house to their taste (58%) and kitchen refurbishment (50%).

Read more: 15 Million homeowners renovate to create their 'forever home', LV= General Insurance

Reno Vs Move
 ( From Get Results Gardening
   6th September, 2019 )

Here's something for property watchers that Get Results Gardening missed when it came out in May.

In the 2019 "Great Australian Backyard Survey" commissioned by Adbri Masonry, 76.8% of respondents said they were unlikely to move given the state of the housing market. 32.4% of respondents intended to live in their home for more than 20 years.

Rather than move, 68.3% were planning to upgrade their front or back yards this year. With cost a big concern, most prefer to break such renovations down into smaller projects that they can tackle over time.

More about the survey plus some advice from Adbri Masonry can be found at

U.S. Millennials Grow Into Gardening
( From Get Results Gardening 8th June, 2018 )

America's annual National Gardening Survey (produced by market research company Garden Research) explores consumer activity and trends for the nation's lawn and garden industry.

The latest report reveals that in 2017, more American households were gardening than ever before, thanks to an increase participation by the under 35 age group.

Said an analyst, "It's a strong sign that they are finally 'in' ".

Across the whole lawn and garden market, retails sales achieved record levels both in total and in average spend per household. The latter increased massively, jumping nearly US$100 to US$503.

Trends include containers and raised beds, indoor plants, employing landscapers instead of DIY and purchasing gardening information in digital form instead of printed books and magazines.

Questions on cannabis were included in the 2018 survey for the first time. 15% of households said they would grow it themselves if it were legal to do so.

Read More:
Gardening Reaches an All Time High Garden Research media release

Al Fresco Homebuying
( From Get Results Gardening 6th April, 2018 )

After commissioning a study into Australian homebuyers' current preferences, garden products company Yates report that desire for outdoor spaces is bigger than conventional real estate wisdom would have us believe.

They say that overall, 39% prioritise these spaces (which include balconies, decks and courtyards), compared to only 12% being most concerned with kitchens.

However, the potential to use outdoor areas for entertaining is important, especially for younger buyers.

16% of all buyers on average are looking for a backyard above all else. There are considerable statewide differences, with South Australians (30%) valuing backyards the most.

The need for "street appeal" also varies, with 9% of Queenslanders considering it the most important factor compared to 15% of Victorians.

Full results of the study don't appear to be publicly available, but you can read more coverage from Yates Australia , Your Investment Property and

Good gardens reduce crime

A study in Philadelphia has correlated well-maintained vegetation with lower rates of certain crimes such as aggravated assault and and burglary. This could be partly due to the calming effect of greenery on behaviour, and partly due to the strengthened sense of community leading to greater vigilance by residents. Furthermore, the message that people care about their community - and are watching - is communicated with well- maintained gardens and public spaces. Source: Study examines deterrent effect of urban greening on crime (April 2014)

What price koalas?

A study of four suburbs in Redland City has attempted to quantify the effect of koalas and koala habitat on poperty values. The results indicate that if koalas can be seen from a particular property, people will pay an estimated $3100 extra for it. Location in a koala habitat area is also considered advantageous. The report, The presence of koalas in neighbourhoods and property values: a hedonic property values study (PDF), is available at Redland City Council's new Koala Central website, which has a range of news, information and other material for adults and children. (September 2010)

Landscapes appreciated in Texas

A study of homes in Lubbock, Texas, indicated that quality landscapes can have a substantial effect on sale price. Reported by Jeff Gillman here: New Hort Research that Gardeners Can Use - March '09 Roundup. (UPDATE: a copy of the original article is now available in PDF form from the American Nursery & Landscape Association here: Impact of Improved Landscape Quality and Tree Cover on the Price of Single Family Homes)

Landscaping might not recoup spend in a falling RE market

A 2008 UK study indicated that in a falling property market, most home improvements (including landscaping) don't recover the money spent on them. See House Prices: Home improvements are a waste of money (Telegraph Media Group) and Home improvements 'not recommended' MSN Money (UK)

What about lawn?

A survey conducted on behalf of Turf Australia suggested that turf in a front yard increases the perceived value of a home compared to some other "landscape surfaces". Source: The grass is greener when it comes to property values

Front gardens and house prices

According to the Horticultural Trades Association, a survey of UK estate agents suggests: First impressions count: Research from PlantforLife reveals the £5000 benefit of a front garden (March, 2008).

Trees increase Brisbane property values

Research indicated that the top five suburbs in Brisbane (rated by median house price) were all well furnished with street trees. In contrast, some of the poorest performing areas had few trees. Read more at the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) website: Trees maketh the street (July 2003)

Britons believe in the value of gardens

A survey on behalf of the UK's Saga insurance indicates that a majority of Britons think the garden is an important feature when house hunting, and believe that garden improvements will result in an increase in house value many times the money spent. Read more at the Saga Insurance website: Green Fingers

Many facets to garden investment

National Savings and Investments (UK) found that while most people spend money on their gardens for the enjoyment of their families or to attract wildlife, many do expect to see a monetary return for their investment. Read more at their website: Brits invest in their garden

UK communities improve property prices

The Britain in Bloom campaign encourages communities to improve their local environment in a variety of ways including landscaping. A study has shown that communities that have entered the competition, especially award winners, have higher house prices than nearby areas. More information from the Royal Horticultural Society HERE

Move or improve?

A poll of Archicentre architects indicates outdoor living additions are becoming popular among Australian renovators (Daylight Saving a Boost to the Outside Room Trend). Archicentre also suggests that homeowners, especially those nearing retirement, will show renewed interest in renovation in an attempt to add value to their homes. More on this theme from Archicentre here: Invest in Your Home, Create Wealth and Enjoy Life and here: Home Owners should have Confidence in Australian Housing Market. (October 2008)

Street trees and property values

Research indicates that the top five suburbs in Brisbane (rated by median house price) are all well furnished with street trees. In contrast, some of the poorest performing areas have few trees. Read the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) media release (July 2003)

Could a water tank improve your property value?

Archicentre (the Building Advisory Service of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects) suggest that as water restrictions hit many parts of Australia hard, a water tank connected to a drip irrigation will be more likely to attract buyers than some luxuries inside the house. Apart from the landscaping benefits, these systems could also help homeowners control cracking problems resulting from dry soils. However, Archicentre warn that many homes have roofing problems. Fixing and maintaining roofs and gutters will help maximise water harvesting as well as protecting homes against the weather extremes that may accompany climate change. More on what they have to say about these issues at their website:
Drought To Change Home Buyers Priorities (January 2007), Climate Change Means More Maintenance For Home Owners (January 2007)

Other Links

Effects of Relandscaping on the Perceived Market Value of Single Family Residential Property 1997, Robert L. Degner and Susan D. Moss. Proc. Florida State Hort. Soc
The social value of landscaping Perry's Perennial Pages, University of Vermont
Attractive Landscapes Improve Home Values Office of Agricultural Communications Mississippi State University USA

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