Starbucks perks up home prices Harvard study reveals

by Steve Randall05 Sep 2018

A new Starbucks opening in a neighborhood is likely to drive up home prices according to a new study.

The research by the Harvard Business School, reported by CNBC, finds that each Starbucks store opening in a zip code adds 0.5% to home prices within a year.

The wider content of the study focuses on gentrification of neighborhoods and uses Yelp data, which the authors say is a first in this kind of research.

But the study finds that rather than home prices being impacted merely by the presence of a Starbucks, it is more likely that store openings reflect the gentrification of the area.

"The most natural hypothesis to us is that restaurants respond to exogenous changes in neighborhood composition, not that restaurant availability is driving neighborhood change," the paper states.

In fact, the study found that each 10-unit increase in the number of reviews of the Starbucks in an area is associated with a 1.4% rise in home prices in the ZIP code; suggesting the affluence of consumers is driving home prices.

Useful data tool
The use of Yelp data is a useful tool, associate professor at HBS, Michael Luca, told CNBC.

This is because it provides a real time glimpse of changing neighborhoods which other data, while useful, does not always provide.

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