A semi-myth: rising tides in real estate values

Feb 3, 2018

For all those experts who push buying the most run-down place in the best part of town as a surefire winning investment because the only way its value can go is up, it may be time to take a second look, according to by Spencer Rascoff and Stan Humphries’ book Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate.

The authors took a hard look at the cheapest 10% of homes in a given ZIP code, trying to understand what buyers were getting when they purchased a home priced well below a neighborhood’s median value. If the adage about “rising tides” were true, the bottom 10% of houses would need to perform better than the more expensive homes in their neighborhood. Instead, they found that only rarely does the bottom 10% outperform the top 90% of houses in a ZIP code. On average, these bottom-tier homes do neither better nor worse than the others.

Their findings indicated that there may be less demand for lower-priced homes in nicer neighborhoods simply because in fancier areas, upscale homes get the most attention. Buying a neighborhood’s worst home, then, is a neutral investment strategy.

 

Source: TBWS

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