C-Stores, Starbucks, Florists: All Point to Rising Home Values

Home prices often soar when coffee shops open in a neighborhood, but c-stores are a leading indicator as well.

September 12, 2018

NEW YORK – There’s often talk about the “Starbucks effect” on home prices: When a new Starbucks opens in a neighborhood, gentrification soon follows, the Washington Post reports.

However, while it’s probably true that “Starbucks locations are chosen by individuals with very good judgment about where prices are going to increase,” it’s also true that other retailers such as convenience stores contribute to rising home values too, according to a new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research written by Harvard economist Edward Glaeser, Hyunjin Kim and Michale Luca.

The trio found that Yelp entries, coupled with government data, can predict urban gentrification through analysis of cafés, coffee shops, barbers, convenience stores, wine bars, florists and laundromats. Convenience stores in particular aren’t necessarily hip, but the small shops often are the initial step in transforming an urban food desert. C-stores also “hint that newcomers, flush with cash, are willing to pay extra for the convenience of having basic goods nearby,” the Washington Post wrote.

This study underscores the importance of data in selecting a site or devising a marketing plan for your store. For more on how to make government data work for you, watch the “How can the U.S. Census work for you?” recorded webinar or read “Data That Really Counts” in the August 2018 issue of NACS Magazine.