Posting in Cities
When gays move into progressive neighborhoods -- such as urban cores -- housing values go up, but the same isn't true if they move into anti-gay neighborhoods.
Economists studying Columbus, Ohio have found that when gays move into a liberal neighborhood, home prices increase by, on average, 1.1 percent. Since large cities and especially their cores are overwhelmingly liberal, it stands to reason that when gays move onto your (urban) block, you can look forward to a (small) boost in the value of your home.
This work seems to confirm earlier work (pdf) from economists David Christaforea and Susane Leguizamon that argued that "artistic, bohemian and gay populations increase housing values in the neighborhoods and communities in which they reside" via two mechanisms. The first is an "aesthetic-amenity premium," that is, these groups tend to make their neighborhoods more enjoyable places to live. The second is a "tolerance or open culture premium," which is to say, they make their neighborhoods feel more open to a wider diversity of people.
So it makes sense that when gays move to a liberal neighborhood, they make it more valuable. (Note that the economists behind this most recent study, David Christaforea and Susane Leguizamon, really are arguing for causation, and not just correlation.)
The converse is also true: Christaforea and Leguizamon found that when gays move to a less tolerant or more conservative neighborhood, home values actually decrease by 1 percent.
And how did they know which neighborhoods were more or less tolerant? They used census data on which areas voted for or against the Defense of Marriage Act.
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via Miller McCune
Photo: David Goehring
Nov 3, 2011
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The flaws in this ???study??? are many, but I will keep to the key items. Unless you question the people in an area on their political views you are only making assumptions. Large numbers of prominent liberal Californians never anticipated so many other wise liberal Latinos would vote in support of Proposition 8 eliminating rights for married gay couples. Proving it is not so easy to pigeonhole people by looking at one ballot question. And what was the sample size used in this study? In a city of about 790,000 are we talking comparing voting districts of 20,000 people or are we talking individual precincts of under 1,000? They neglect to mention any study of other economic factors such as economically declining areas because of local job loss verses economically stable areas. I could produce a study showing that eating spicy food causes job loss if I compare the right precincts in my hometown. And finally, any study of housing prices covering the past 3 years is a crapshoot with foreclosure rates varying wildly from one neighborhood to the next within the same city. A home value decline of 1% in one area verses a 1.1% increase in another is statistically insignificant in a national housing market that has seen drops of up to 50% in many local markets.