By Henry Pollakowski, David Ritchay, and Zoe Weinrobe
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Center for Real Estate
This rigorous study examines how mixed-income, high-density rental developments-what the au-thors call “a suburban homeowner’s worst nightmare”-affect the property values of nearby single-family houses. In welcome news to residents of both the high-density apartments and their single-family neighbors, the authors decisively demonstrate that “the introduction of large-scale, high-density mixed-income rental developments in single-family neighborhoods does not affect the value of surrounding homes.” (The emphasis comes from the authors.) They go on to say, “The fear of potential asset-value loss among suburban homeowners is misplaced.”
The authors examined seven different towns in the Greater Boston region and-importantly-they compared property values over time, because, as the study points out, “following neighborhood property values over time is a much more powerful tool” than just looking at one single point in time.