By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
Photo Credit: Walmart
Many critics have long-argued that Walmart’s “always low prices” often stretches to nearby home prices too. When the big-box discount retailer comes to town, some residents have protested, saying that the store had the potential to lower home values close by.
It was dubbed the “Walmart Effect,” and over the years it has made a lot of residents oppose proposed Walmarts coming to town.
But a new study finds that Walmart can actually give nearby home values a little lift.
Economists Devin Pope at University of Chicago and Jaren Pope at Brigham Young University analyzed more than 1 million real estate transactions near 159 newly opened Walmart stores between 2000 and 2006.
The researchers found that homes within a half mile of a new Walmart store saw their home prices increase on an average about $7,000 in the two-and-a-half years after the store opened. Homes located a half mile to one mile away saw a $4,000 increase.
Past studies have shown that having “satisfactory shopping” within one mile of housing can increase home values, as more Americans cite quick and easy access to shopping as a perk when looking for a new home. But the added nearby shopping to neighborhoods also has been criticized for adding traffic, noise, crime, and lighting pollution.
The researchers note that in the case of Walmart the convenience may outweigh any potential negatives to home values.
So when you’re trying to sell a home, does this mean you’ll want to be sure to include the distance to the closest Walmart in your listing ad? Maybe, according to this study.