The vote is in, and a new high school is coming to Attleboro. If you are a homeowner, whether you voted for or against the debt exclusion this past spring (or perhaps didn’t vote at all), the only question that remains is this: Will the new high school really increase property values?
We’ve all heard the anecdotal arguments that good schools increase property values. There is ample evidence to support this conclusion. In a 2013 Realtor.com survey, one out of five of those surveyed said they would pay between six and ten percent more for a home – and one out of ten people surveyed stated that they’d go even higher, paying up to 20 percent more for a home with access to the right schools. (See Hopkington, Southboro, and Westboro). But does a new high school building have the same effect as a well funded school system?
The good news is that Attleboro is in position to have both. The most recent U.S. News and World Report rankings for Massachusetts had Attleboro ranked 79th in the state, a strong ranking that compares well with other towns in the area. And study after study show that a good school system is almost always one of the top five reasons people choose where to live.
Higher Taxes or Higher Property Values? Or Both?
The new high school also means higher taxes, so will those new taxes we all have to pay actually result in a school building that increases home values more than the taxes paid? The data is somewhat muddled, but I did find two studies that analyzed and statistically validated that in fact the new buildings on their own have two measurable effects: 1) an increase in student test scores and 2) an increase in home values for the communities it serves.
In one 2011 study conducted at Yale, which measured the effects of major new construction in a historically poor area of Maryland, the study found that while the new construction initially lowered test scores due to the disruption during construction, after six years, the test scores and home values increased and were sustained increases in the entire area.
In a second study conducted at Michigan State that analyzed Ohio’s capital subsidy program which distributed over ten billion dollars for school construction and renovations to 231 school districts between 1997 and 2011, a similar conclusion was made. The housing price result suggests that a $10,000 increase in prior year capital expenditures is associated with a 1.2% increase in housing prices relative to the average housing price in our sample, which is similar in size to the 10% increase found in Neilson and Zimmerman (2014) as a result of $70,000 per pupil increase in capital expenditures. In Attleboro terms, when coupled with the State funds, Attleboro now has a $260,000,000 capital commitment spread over approximately 7,000 students in the entire school system, equating to $37,000 per student. Translation: It’s not unreasonable to think our home values will be worth 3-5% more than they would have been simply due to the new high school.
For a home worth $300,000, that would be $9,000-$15,000 in increased value with the expected increase in tax expenditure in 10 years approximately only $3,000. Obviously, time will tell and many other factors can have an impact, but if these peer-reviewed studies apply, it looks like we made a good investment.
About Kelly Crowley
Kelly Crowley is a Licensed Real Estate agent for Keller Williams Realty.
Kelly has lifelong ties to the area and a keen understanding of the marketplace through her personal history and extensive knowledge of the varied communities she serves.
Kelly invests her passion for the area by serving her clients with the utmost integrity, honesty and expert guidance in their real estate endeavors. When you’re seeking an agent who will put your goals first, call on Kelly Crowley. firstname.lastname@example.org c. 734.274.0707
About Kelly Crowley : Kelly Crowley is a Licensed Real Estate agent for Keller Williams Realty. Kelly has lifelong ties to the area and a keen understanding of the marketplace through her personal history and extensive knowledge of the varied communities she serves.