Fairway Market, considered by many the quintessential New York City supermarket, filed for bankruptcy yesterday, citing competition from “natural, organic and prepared food rivals” and “online ordering and home delivery services,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Perhaps their biggest threats are Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, which both seem to be in a very different boat. Yahoo! Finance looked at data of four million homes in the U.S. that are located in a zip code with either one of these stores, “finding that average property values in a ZIP code with Trader Joe’s appreciated by about 40 percent since they were purchased, while homes with a Whole Foods in the ZIP code appreciated by nearly 34 percent.”
The reasoning is quite simple — people will pay a premium for the convenience of being near their favorite stores. And proximity to a store like Whole Foods, often thought of as more high-end than other grocery stores, adds an air of prestige to a neighborhood. But the science behind it is a bit of a chicken or the egg situation — does a retailer directly affect home values, or are these companies able to identify locations where they’ll generate the most interest?
Find out this way
Most Americans are finally starting to feel a bit of relief that the economy is getting back on its feet, but when it comes to the housing market, it’s not as cut and dry as we might think. Analyzing data from Black Knight Financial Services from 2004 to 2015 (the bubble, burst, and recovery), the Washington Post asserts that the country’s housing arc has only worsened inequality. “It also helps explain why the economic recovery feels incomplete, especially in neighborhoods where the value of housing — often the biggest family asset — has recovered little, if at all,” they explain.
For example, an average single-family home gained less than 14 percent in value over the past 11 years, but homes in the nation’s priciest neighborhoods have gained 21 percent. And interestingly, in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, an area that saw a huge gentrification push during this time period, single-family home values have tripled and risen by 194 percent — the largest increase of any metro area in the country. The Post has taken the data and compiled it into an interactive map that lets users simply input a zipcode to see how the area has fared.
More national and local trends ahead
We know New York City is ridiculously expensive, but what about its property values? Because of the city’s confusing “market value” system, true property values are often grossly underestimated. To provide a more accurate look, the data buffs over at Metrocosm have put together these visually telling cartograms of real property values in NYC, substituting land area for total property value. The maps not only compare values in New York with those throughout the rest of the country, but they also look at how property values are concentrated within the five boroughs.
The data reveals some striking facts. New York City makes up a whopping 5 percent of the nation’s property value, coming in at $1.5 trillion. When you single out Manhattan’s $733 billion, it could be the 14th most valuable state in the country. The Upper East Side, which occupies less than one square mile, has $96 billion in housing value–more than entire states like New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming and Alaska.
More findings, maps, and graphs ahead