Not in my backyard …
Heck, not in my front yard …
Not in my side yard, even …
That’s the reaction many homeowners have when they learn a low-income housing development is planned to be built near them.
One of their biggest worries: Their property values will tank. They fear the new development won’t match the existing character of the neighborhood in appeal or value and make it a less desirable place to live.
Data doesn’t support that, according to a recent Trulia study that looked at the nation’s 20 most expensive real estate markets — San Diego included — and found that nearby property values are not impacted when a low-income project is added.
To reach that conclusion, the real estate website looked at housing prices of homes located 2,000 feet and less from low-income developments and compared them to homes located between 2001 and 4,000 feet from them. They looked at home prices over a 10-year period, from 1996 to 2006.
“There is no statistically significant difference in price per square foot when comparing properties near a low-income housing project and those farther away when examining projects across all 20 metros,” the report said.
The report, called “There Doesn’t Go the Neighborhood,” (here’s a link to it) noted how many residents in tight housing markets have been quick to protest against affordable housing plans. That’s happened in San Diego, as well.
“Given low inventory and high prices in these tight markets, we set out to uncover how much homeowners really have to fear.”
Of the 20 markets studied, only the Boston and Cambridge, Mass., markets saw a negative impact. That could be an anomaly, the report said.
“Concentrating subsidized housing projects in particular areas such as Roxbury and Dorchester in Boston, or Cambridgeport in Cambridge in a short time period, for example, might have the effect of crowding out other development activity.”
Denver actually saw home prices rise when affordable housing were added nearby. That might be because many were located downtown, which became a hotspot for development.
The study concluded: “Again, these are exceptions to the finding that low-income housing projects largely have no effect on home values. The bottom line for NIMBYs who fear that property values will take a hit when a low-income housing project locates nearby is that their anxiety is largely unfounded – at least in cities where housing is either expensive or in short supply.”