Yesterday, the Atlantic Cities website published an amusing piece wondering whether home value is affected by the street it’s on is called a “street” or, say, “lane”. Apparently a report by Trulia found that homes are worth the most is they’re on an avenue (average $117 per square foot) while they sell for the least on those humble “streets” ($86 per square foot).
This got GM wondering, would Georgetown homes be worth more if Georgetown still had the old street names? The street designation was the same with the old street names, but the given names, so to speak, were more distinctive (for the most part, that is, the east-west streets west of Wisconsin were just numbered first through eighth).
To test this theory, GM looked at the last three years of real estate sales in Georgetown and split them into two groups: streets with either letters or numbers (e.g. 30th or P St.) and streets with some other name (e.g. Dumbarton or Volta).
Before crunching the numbers, GM guessed that the second group would have a higher price. There is something more distinctive about living on a street with a name like Poplar Place versus a street like GM’s own 33rd.
But it turns out the opposite is true, but only barely so.
Homes in the first group have an average price per square foot of $713.93, while homes in the second are just below at $703.89. So before today, you probably never thought about the impact street names might have on home value. And apparently you were right to do so.