Living next to godliness: Residential property values and churches

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Abstract

This article extends the analysis concerning the impact of neighborhood churches on residential property values by investigating nearly 5,000 residential property transactions in Henderson, Nevada, between January 1986 and December 1990. We find that real property values decrease, at a decreasing rate, as distance from a neighborhood church increases. This result is the opposite of that reported by Do, Wilbur, and Short in a previous edition of this journal. We bolster our findings by showing that distance from the site of a future church has little or no impact on residential property values, whereas distance from an existing church is associated with lower property values. Our evidence indicates that neighborhood churches are amenities that enhance the value of neighborhood residential property. Finally, we demonstrate that larger churches (as measured by square foot of lot size) tend to have a greaterpositive impact on residential property values.