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Hidden Figures: 5 Factors That Influence Home Values

Very often it’s easy to see why one house comes to market bearing a bigger-than-average price tag, but in other instances, it’s not so obvious. In those cases, it’s likely that a handful of more obscure and hard-to-measure price influencers are at play, according to a study by HouseCanary.

HouseCanary investigated five “hidden factors” to assess their impact on home value—view angle from the backyard; frontage length; backyard exposure to neighbors; privacy score; and backyard slope. Here’s what they found.

View angle—the maximum angle (in degrees) that opens up to scenery or nature from the backyard—emerged as the most popular hidden factor affecting home values, the company noted in its analysis. All told, view angle appeared in 1,754 of 1,836 counties (95.53 percent) studied, which means buyers in those places place a high premium on the vista they view from the back-facing part of their abode.

Frontage length, which measures the length of the street-facing side of the lot, illustrates the amount of curb-fronting home compared with other houses in the area. This factor, the report noted, advanced home value in 1,246 of the 1,581 counties examined.

Backyard exposure to neighbors landed in third place. Measuring how easily folks in neighboring residences could see into a home and backyard, this factor was a negative influencer in 1,156 out of 1,835 counties (meaning more backyard exposure equals a lower value).

HouseCanary also found that homes boosting higher privacy scores have higher values with 1,089 out of the 1,836 counties ranking this factor as a value influencer.

Finally, in 640 of 1,836 counties HouseCanary looked at, a negative relationship existed between home value and backyard slope. In those counties, domiciles with yards that sloped uphill have lower values than those with backyards that sloped downhill from the primary residence on the property.

All angles and measurements aside, an important takeaway is that the degree to which each of the five factors affects a home’s value differs markedly depending on the region, county, or neighborhood in which it sits, the report said.

About Author: Alison Rich

Alison Rich has a long-time tenure in the writing and editing realm, touting an impressive body of work that has been featured in local and national consumer and trade publications spanning industries and audiences. She has worked for DS News and MReport magazines—both in print and online—since they launched.
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