Accounting for the value of nature in house prices

2 minute read
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) are producing estimates for how much value green and blue spaces add to house prices.

"Ordnance Survey (OS) helped fill data gaps, enabling us to better understand the role of public and private greenspace on house prices, and to achieve our ambition of producing more granular data for users. "

Ellen Clowser, Natural Capital Accounts Development Lead with ONS

House prices are impacted by a variety of factors, including location, building characteristics, and the surrounding environment.

To estimate the impact these factors have on house prices, ONS developed a quantitative economic model (hedonic pricing) using OS data.

The challenge:

In their previous machine learning model, ONS used data from the property website Zoopla. Eventually, the values from this model were being extrapolated, meaning the data was becoming increasingly outdated, and could fail to reflect recent annual changes.

ONS needed up-to-date location data on various features impacting house prices. Additionally, the task at hand involved a substantial amount of data, as every residential property would need to be examined.

The solution:

The team conducted the geospatial analysis that would feed into the new hedonic house price model, focusing on features such as green and blue space, garden size, links to health services and transport, and many more.

OS data scientists extracted these features, calculating the Euclidean distance from each residential building to the closest features. The distance was then disaggregated to UPRN level by applying the building value to all UPRNs within the building.

A mixture of OS data was used to locate these features, including OS MasterMap Topography Layer, OS NGD Land Use Theme, OS NGD Structures Theme, and OS NGD Land Theme. 

A basemap, with a large circle centred on a building denoting the surrounding landscape.
An example of new ONS mapping

The benefits:

ONS are now able to provide up-to-date estimates of the value green and blue space add to house prices. The insights uncovered by the hedonic analysis will ensure the value of nature is reflected in decision making, such as urban planners maximising the benefits of public green and blue space.

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Ordnance Survey
By Ordnance Survey

Our highly accurate geospatial data and printed maps help individuals, governments and companies to understand the world, both in Britain and overseas.

Products and solutions featured in this blog

  • OS MasterMap Topography Layer

    A map dataset of Great Britain's landscape – from roads to fields, to buildings and trees, fences, paths and more.

  • OS NGD API – Features

    Perform powerful geospatial analysis. Filter the data to receive exactly what you need, as and when you need it.

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