Do street-level scene perceptions affect housing prices in Chinese megacities? An analysis using open access datasets and deep learning

Abstract:  Many studies have explored the relationship between housing prices and environmental characteristics using the hedonic price model (HPM). However, few studies have deeply examined the impact of scene perception near residential units on housing prices. This article used house purchasing records from and open access geolocation data (including massive street view pictures, point of interest (POI) data and road network data) and proposed a framework named “open-access-dataset-based hedonic price modeling (OADB-HPM)” for comprehensive analysis in Beijing and Shanghai, China. A state-of-the-art deep learning framework and massive Baidu street view panoramas were employed to visualize and quantify three major scene perception characteristics (greenery, sky and building view indexes, abbreviated GVI, SVI and BVI, respectively) at the street level. Then, the newly introduced scene perception characteristics were combined with other traditional characteristics in the HPM to calculate marginal prices, and the results for Beijing and Shanghai were explored and compared. The empirical results showed that the greenery and sky perceptual elements at the property level can significantly increase the housing price in Beijing (RMB 39,377 and 6011, respectively) and Shanghai (RMB 21,689 and 2763, respectively), indicating an objectively higher willingness by buyers to pay for houses that provide the ability to perceive natural elements in the surrounding environment. This study developed quantification tools to help decision makers and planners understand and analyze the interaction between residents and urban scene components.