Historic Districts and Residential Property Values

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The Landmarks Preservation Commission’s Web site recently posted a study by the Independent Budget Office that analyzed residential property values in the city’s various historic districts. The report is not new–it’s dated 2003–but its conclusions seem to back up preservationists’ claims that historic districts increase property values.

The I.B.O. looked at one-, two- and three-family houses in the period between 1975 and 2002, and concluded that, “All else equal, prices of houses in historic districts are higher than those of similar houses outside historic districts.” And it’s not a chicken-and-the-egg proposition: ” … overall price appreciation from 1975 through 2002 was greater for houses inside historical districts.”

More tidbits after the jump.

  • Historic districts act as “brand labels”;
  • In two time periods studied–1975-1982 and 1997-2002–properties in historic districts appreciated at a much higher rate than those outside of historic districts;
  • In three periods–1982-1989, 1993-1997 and 2000-2002–property prices in hisotric districts appreciated slightly faster than those outside of historic districts;
  • In 2000-2002, the differences were statistically insignificant;
  • In 1989-1993, both types of properties declined in value, but those within historic districts declined slightly more than those outside of historic districts;
  • Over the 1975-2002 period, the average increase in value for historic distric properties was 10.2 percent per year (5.3 percent adjusted for inflation), with non-historic district properties at 9.0 percent (4.2 percent adjusted for inflation).
  • -Matthew Grace

    Historic Districts and Residential Property Values