Wal Mart Makes Home Values Rise

Apropos of the front page spread on the ever-so controversial Wal Mart proposed for the West Side of Albuquerque (near my home), I saw a new study from two economists discussing how housing prices are impacted by the location of a Wal Mart nearby. Obviously, traffic could be a problem and several other factors have been brought forth by the NIMBY crowd in opposition to the store, but perhaps those concerned about having a rebound in home prices might want to know that, according to the authors:

In this study we use over one million housing transactions located near 159 Walmarts that opened between 2000 and 2006 to test if the opening of a Walmart does indeed lower housing prices. Using a difference-in-differences specification, our estimates suggest that a new Walmart store actually increases housing prices by between 2 and 3 percent for houses located within 0.5 miles of the store and by 1 to 2 percent for houses located between 0.5 and 1
mile.

I know that my house took a serious hit in price when the market tanked in 2008 and I’d lie to see a turnaround, but the real issue here is that conveniences like shopping centers make people MORE, not LESS likely to want to live in a given location. I know that is shocking, but it is why more and more Americans continue to move to cities.

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