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Homebuyers willing to pay for open space

A Colorado State University study looked into home prices in conservation developments, where residential real estate is limited and usually 50 percent to 70 percent of the land is set aside as open space.

The research shows that homebuyers are willing to pay a premium to live near such open, undeveloped tracts. Sarah Reed, co-author of the study, and her colleagues compared 2,222 home sales in five counties from 1998-2011.

The conservation developments designated an average 64 percent of land as open space, while traditional rural subdivisions allocated just 4.9 percent. The study found that homes in conservation developments sold for 29 percent more than properties located in conventional residential projects.

Furthermore, increasing lot size in an undesignated conservation development hiked the market price by 38 cents per square foot, the report found. In nonconservation developments, a larger lot size translated to just nine additional cents per square foot.

The study was funded by CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability and the National Association of Realtors.

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