In case you ever wondered if there is a connection between upscale food stores and the housing market, the answer is, “You bet your organic kale salad there is!” RealtyTrac, in what might be the first—and, at the risk of editorializing, the strangest—data report of its kind, has announced that homeowners that live near a Trader’s Joe supermarket experience stronger home value appreciation and pay higher property taxes than homeowners that live near a Whole Foods supermarket.
To achieve this unlikely overlap, RealtyTrac analyzed the home values and property taxes for 1.7 million homes, condos and co-ops in 188 ZIP codes with at least one Whole Foods store (and no Trader Joe’s stores) and 2.3 million homes, condos and co-ops in 242 ZIP codes with at least one Trader Joe’s store (and no Whole Foods stores). The result of this research showed that homeowners near a Trader Joe’s experienced an average 40 percent increase in home value since they purchased their property, compared to 34 percent appreciation for homeowners near a Whole Foods; the average appreciation for all ZIP codes nationwide is also 34 percent.
RealtyTrac also determined that homes near a Trader Joe’s averaged $592,339 in value, which is five percent more than the $561,840 average value for homes near a Whole Foods. In comparison, the national average value of homes was $262,068.
Homeowners near a Trader Joe’s also paid an average of $8,536 in property taxes each year, which is 59 percent more than the $5,382 average for homeowners near a Whole Foods. In comparison, the average property tax across all ZIP codes nationwide was $3,239.
We could say that all of this qualifies as food for thought—though whether RealtyTrac plans to chart the connection between affordable housing and the Aldi supermarket chain remains to be seen.