Chicago Relocation

The Wal-Mart Effect

March 27, 2013

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John D’Ambrogio

The Wal-Mart effect

Here are some comments from Baird & Warner’s own Tom Gill.

Mary Ellen Podmolik wrote an interesting  article last June for the the Chicago Tribune: titled The Wal-Mart effect on home values. Below are pieces of the article along with our comments.

Feelings on the retail juggernaut Wal-Mart are highly controversial and extremely mixed from person to person. Some people love the low prices and location convenience often associated with the store. Others strongly oppose the negative effect that it has on local business, as well as the decline that comes with wages. There are several Wal-Marts in the Chicago area, including one near the West Loop Gate, only a few blocks from Baird & Warner’s corporate office.

However the effect a Wal-Mart has on a housing market surrounding it is not something that brings forth a clear answer. Maybe people dislike having one around because the increased traffic and noise, yet maybe people would prefer one nearby because the prices and ease of doing their shopping. University professors and brothers Devin and Jaren Pope decided to find out.

Their research of over 1 million home sales between 1998 and 2008 showed that homes within a half mile of a Wal-Mart increased between 2 and 3 percent, while homes up to a mile away from a Wal-Mart increased around 1 percent. In dollars this translated to about $7,000 and $4,000 respectively.

The results that were uncovered were not very surprising. It was a minor shift one way, and one which I personally would have guessed. With the downturned economic situation, it makes sense that more people would put a small value on lower priced goods that were so close nearby.