May 2, 2007

Do Street Names Affect Property Values?

Take two houses – with identical floor plans, identical lot sizes, in the same neighborhood, and functionally identical landscaping and decoration.  One of them has the address of 123 Shady Oak Lane, and the other has the address of 44293 Solzhenitsyn Street.  Will these houses sell for different prices because “Shady Oak Lane” is easier for most people to say than “Solzhenitsyn Street”?  A realtor in Austin, Texas thinks so.  But, there is an upside to an unusual street name – buyers don’t seem afraid to buy a house with an unusual name, and will buy the less expensive house with the unusual street name faster than the more expensive house on the traditionally-named street.  Hat tip to Steven Levitt at Freakonomics blog.

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