Some Grocery Stores Can Pump Up RE Value


Most homebuyers ask about nearby grocery stores during their search. A recent survey found that having a Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or Aldi may boost home value.

ORLANDO, Fla. – When Orlando real estate agent Jeremy Wood writes a listing for a house, he includes the grocery stores in the neighborhood.

“If you can walk to get groceries, that’s big,” he said.

What sort of amenities a neighborhood offers, Wood said, have become more important since the housing market slowed and people have had more inventory to choose from.

Having a grocery store near one’s house is often a sought-after perk for homebuyers, but what kind of grocery store is nearby can actually affect a home’s price, according to a new survey.

A national study in November by real estate analysts Attom Data Solutions found homes near a Trader Joe’s were worth $987,923 on average.

The study looked at ZIP codes around the country with at least one of three brands: Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Aldi. Trader Joe’s took the top spot for value, followed by Whole Foods with an average of $891,416 per house.

Aldi had the lowest initial value at $321,116, but proved the better investment over time, according to the study. Looking at the five-year appreciation on homes from 2017 to 2022, homes near Aldi gained 58%, followed by Trader Joe’s houses with 49% and Whole Foods homes with 45%.

Aldi houses also got a 54% return when flipped by an investor, compared to 28% from Whole Foods and 25% from Trader Joe’s, according to the study.

Wood, who says most of his sales are $300,000 or less, says he doesn’t get many questions about those brands, but he is frequently asked about the closest Publix, Florida’s No. 1 grocer. It wasn’t included in the Attom survey.

“Everyone, sellers and buyers, ask about Publix,” he said.

Wood also said customers do expect to pay more around certain brands.

“If I mention a Whole Foods or Fresh Market, people know those stores build only in what you would call nicer neighborhoods,” he said.

The two Trader Joe’s locations in metro Orlando are found in Winter Park and the Dr. Phillips neighborhood. In October, ZIP codes for those locations had average home sales of $935,528 and $737,930, respectively, according to the Orlando Regional Realtor® Association.

Advocates fighting against food deserts have long pointed these disparities as a reason for grocery stores to open in more impoverished neighborhoods.

“I’m not surprised by the results of the survey,” said Orlando City Council member Bakari Burns.

Burns’ district, which runs mostly west of I-4 between State Road 408 and Sand Lake Road, is home to one of the region’s largest food deserts, according to the USDA’s Food Access Research Atlas.

Burns has been vocal about getting grocery stores to move into his district. He says the study highlights how the cycle of poverty in low-income neighborhoods perpetuates.

“If you don’t have those types of investments in a community, they remain starved of access to fresh fruits, vegetables and groceries, but also you don’t get investments from other types of industries,” he said.

Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at Attom, said whether the stores are creating the value or capitalizing on it is “a little bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario.”

“Grocery stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Aldi do a significant amount of market research in order to determine which locations are the best match for their stores – economically, demographically, and even socially,” Sharga said in an email.

“On the other hand, bringing in a high-profile, high-quality grocery store … does tend to add to the quality of life in the community and to home values both in the short term and over time,” he said.

Burns recognizes the factors that grocers must weigh when deciding where to set up shop, including safety and the threat of theft, but he encourages executives to “see what a difference an investment like this really would make in a community.”

© 2022 Orlando Sentinel. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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