The presence of a Walmart increased housing prices by 2 to 3 percent on average for residences within 0.5 miles of the store, according to an economic research paper from the University of Chicago and Brigham Young University. Prices were pushed up 1 to 2 percent for homes between 0.5 and 1 mile from the store.
The study analyzed 159 stores that opened between 2000 and 2006, comparing home values 2.5 years before and after the store openings. Researchers looked at retail locations in 20 states; California was most widely represented, with 36 stores, and Florida was second at 21. There are more than 4,400 Walmart outposts in the U.S., including Sam’s Club warehouses.
Study co-author Devin Pope, an economics professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, said housing prices may provide an idea of Walmart’s net impact on a neighborhood.
“When you see housing prices increase and a change in an environmental amenity, there is a group of people happy with that amenity,” he told ABC News.
Pope said the study controlled for other factors that may have caused the price increases, such as national housing trends.