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Analysts: Violent Crime Rates Dampening Home Values, Prices

Analysts said Tuesday that a reduction in homicide rates by 10 percent would likely lead to a 0.83 percent increase in housing values and a 2.1 percent increase in housing prices in residential and metropolitan areas around the nation.


The ""Center for American Progress"":http://www.americanprogress.org/ surveyed eight major metropolitan areas to tally up the costs of violent crime ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô including homicide, rape, and aggravated robbery ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô for residents, cities, and state and municipal governments.

According to the ""study"":http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/06/pdf/violent_crime.pdf, the results weigh heavily on residential property values and home prices.

For example, a 10 percent reduction in homicides could drive up the value of residential real estate by billions for cities that include Boston ($4.4 billion), Philadelphia ($3.2 billion), Seattle ($2.9 billion), Dallas ($2.4 billion), and the Chicago area ($2.2 billion).

Milwaukee and Jacksonville would see $800 million and $600 million in increases for residential real estate values by comparison.


Although the link to higher home values may not be as strong statistically, analysts concluded from their research that a 25 percent reduction in homicides could lead to marked increases for the same cities.

These cities included Boston ($11 billion), Philadelphia ($8 billion), Seattle ($7.25 billion), Dallas ($6 billion), Chicago ($5.5 billion), Milwaukee ($2 billion), and Jacksonville ($1.5 billion).

The study claimed that current property tax rates would couple with property value increases to ""substantially expand the revenues from property taxes"" in surveyed cities.

""Marc Morial"":http://www.nul.org/who-we-are/executive-leadership/executive-staff/marc-morial, president of the ""National Urban League"":http://www.nul.org/ and onetime mayor of New Orleans, participated in a teleconference call earlier Tuesday to address the results.

He linked ""easy access to guns and the proliferation of illegal guns"" to the ""corrosive effects"" of violent crime on residential real estate, state and municipal budgets, and quality of life for residents.

The study highlighted the differences played by handguns and other weapons, laying the onus of the problem on the former. Of 94 percent of homicides committed by assailants with weapons, for example, analysts found that 67 percent used handguns.

Morial sided with the analysts in calling for a combination of targeted policing and social service programs to draw down the amount and impact of violent crime.

He cited his own tenure as mayor between 1994 and 2002, recommending more state and federal funds for police departments, criminal justice systems, afterschool programs, and youth recreational activities.

""Those investments could, in fact, bring about a return on investment"" in the form of ""increased property values, lower crime, and thus an improved economy,"" he said.

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.

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