Specialty Grocery Stores Impact on Home Values

According to recent findings, the grocery store in your neighborhood can significantly boost your home’s value. National real estate analytics company RealtyTrac conducted a study in which it studied the impact Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s had on home values.

Similar to Starbucks, Whole Foods is known for its magnetic ability to attract other high-end retail shops as well as positively influencing the value of surrounding real estate. What RealtyTrac wanted to determine was if Trader Joe’s market locations had the same upward effect on home values.

Both specialty markets have distinct ‘cult followings’ and are known for their in-depth research into potential new retail locations. Both assess demographics, income levels, potential appreciation and the adjacent neighborhood prior to choosing a new place to set down retail roots.

As part of its analysis, RealtyTrac looked at home prices, appreciation and property taxes at a number of zip codes nationwide. This included 1.7 million homes, condos and co-ops in 188 zip codes with at least one Whole Foods store nearby and no Trader Joe’s locations as well as 2.3 million properties in 242 zip codes with at least one Trader Joe’s and no Whole Foods Markets.

One financially interesting discovery was that houses near both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods markets have more than doubled the value of the average home in the United States. But when it comes to which market boosts home values more, the leader was Trader Joe’s.

  • Houses located near a Trader Joe’s are worth 5% more than homes near a Whole Foods establishment.
  • Homeowners who live near a Trader Joe’s experience a 40% increase in their home’s value since purchase while Whole Food homes appreciated at close to the national average of 34%.
  • Homeowners situated near Trader Joe’s paid an average of 59% more in property taxes-a definite indicator of home value-than did those who live close to Whole Foods.

Google searches reveal about the same number of Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods in the greater Silicon Valley; about 20 Trader Joe’s to around 18 Whole Foods.

Despite these interesting findings, it is always prudent to remember that every person’s needs and lifestyle must play an integral part in choosing the city and neighborhood that best suits them. That could very well be near a Trader Joe’s or a Whole Foods or maybe nowhere near any retail stores whatsoever. One lesson that can be learned from both of these companies is to do your research and understand the neighborhood before you make the ever-important decision to buy a home in Menlo Park or elsewhere in the Silicon Valley.