Some Long Islanders might be happy to live near a Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or ALDI for convenience, but easy access to cauliflower rice and organic produce may have another benefit, according to a new study.
For the so-called "Grocery Store Battle" analysis, the analysts at ATTOM Data Solutions, a California-based real estate information company, compiled a list of 1,859 ZIP codes with a branch of German discount grocer ALDI, California-based Trader Joe’s or Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods, now owned by Amazon. They looked at current average home values, current average home equity, home seller profits in 2019 and price appreciation over one year and five years. The three supermarket chains were chosen because of their "cult following," and other stores were not included in order to keep the analysis limited, says Jennifer von Pohlmann, an ATTOM spokeswoman.
Analysts found that nationally, homes near a Trader Joe’s location were worth more, with properties averaging around $608,305 and having the highest return of investment over five years — 51 percent. Homes near a Whole Foods averaged $521,142 and produced a 41-percent return on investment, while homes near ALDI were around $222,809 and saw a 34-percent return on investment.
On Long Island, Plainview, which has a Trader Joe’s, had the highest average home value of $596,003 in the analysis, while Merrick, which also boasts a Trader Joe’s, saw the highest return on investment over five years, at 42.6 percent, according to ATTOM. The average return on investment over the same time period was 33 percent for Nassau and 19 percent for Suffolk.
In July, the average home sale in Nassau County was $663,622 and the average home sale in Suffolk was $476,669.
The report does not state that homes will increase or decrease in value based on the presence of any of the three supermarkets or whether homeowners should buy or sell properties in light of the data. "We have left that part up to the readers of the study to draw their own conclusions," Pohlmann says.
"Our intent with this analysis is to share the data associated with these stores," she adds.
Michael Murphy, who runs the commercial division for Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Huntington, says retail chains choose locations based on factors such as population density and income. He says the report shows that home buyers should pay attention to the retail landscape and how that could affect their investment.
“Start paying attention to your local neighborhood,” he says. “It’s not just school districts, but look at your surrounding retail.”