The real estate website Zillow has published a book which analyzes home values based on certain factors, such as the proximity to a Whole Foods, or Starbucks, etc. In a shocking coincidence, there are 2 Whole Foods within a mile of me (and three more slightly more than a mile away), there are 2 Trader Joe’s about a mile away, and a mind-boggling 44 ((!!) Starbucks within 1 mile of me, all per Google Maps. Perhaps there is a synergistic effect on property values, and a wealthy businessman from Shanghai will offer to purchase my place sight unseen for way, way above market value enabling me to retire to a private island in the Caribbean to work on my screenplay, or something. Do you know any wealthy industrialists with a desire to own a loft?
Your local grocery market has a lot to do with what happens in your local housing market, according to a new analysis by Zillow featured in the paperback edition of Zillow Talk: Rewriting the Rules of Real Estate (Grand Central Publishing, Jan. 26).
Specifically, Zillow found that homes grow more rapidly in value if they are closer to a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foodsi. Between 1997 and 2014, homes near the two grocery chains were consistently worth more than the median U.S. home. By the end of 2014, homes within a mile of either store were worth more than twice as much as the median home in the rest of the country.
“Like Starbucks, the stores have become an amenity in their own right – a signal to the home-buying public that the neighborhood they’re located in is desirable, perhaps up-and-coming, and definitely improving,” said Zillow Group Chief Economist Stan Humphries. “Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, the stores may actually drive home prices. Even if they open in neighborhoods where home prices have lagged those in the wider city, they start to outperform the city overall once the stores arrive.”
“The grocery store phenomenon is about more than groceries,” said Rascoff. “It says something about the way people want to live – in the type of neighborhood favored by the generations buying homes now. Today’s homebuyers seek things in neighborhoods that weren’t even in real estate agents’ vocabularies a generation ago: walkability, community, new urbanism – and maybe we should add words like sustainable seafood and organic pears.”
Zillow analyzed the values of millions of homes near dozens of Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods to conclude that grocery stores and home values are definitely related.
According to the Zillow analysisii, the median home within a mile of a future Whole Foods store appreciates more slowly than other homes in the same city before the store opens. In the months before the stores open, the trend reverses and flips, so that after the stores’ opening dates, homes near Whole Foods appreciate more quickly than other area homes.
The analysis clearly shows that homes near the stores appreciate more quickly than homes in the city as a whole. That means the two brands are very good at choosing locations that will appreciate faster in the future, or are actually spurring home appreciation growth – or some combination of the two.
(click here to continue reading Homes Near Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Stores Appreciate Faster – Jan 25, 2016.)