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More on Street Names and Property Values

A while ago Levitt posed the question of whether the name of a street (such as “Pleasant Avenue” or “Massacre Lane”) could have an effect on the price of its real estate. Now, it turns out, there’s more data on the subject: The Edmonton Journal reports that a study by a Canadian real-estate analyst found a “a small but noteworthy negative effect between a badly named street and the perceived market value of the homes or businesses on it.” The data were gathered by Murtaza Haider, a business professor and director of Ryerson University’s Institute of Housing and Mobility, who examined the property values of 300 houses located on or near Toronto’s exclusive Bloor Street. Controlling for size, he found that listing “Bloor” in the physical address boosted the property’s market value by adding a “statistically significant premium.” The article also cites the research compiled by Texas realtors Sylvia and Steve Crossland that Levitt mentioned in his discussion.

Haider’s study leaves at least one question unanswered. While the data may in fact be correct, it doesn’t seem to account for the possibility that a property’s proximity to Bloor Street was simply an indicator of a good neighborhood as signaled by the street name, as opposed to the street name being a per se indicator of higher resale value.