, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 127-136

An empirical examination of the externalities of neighborhood churches on housing values

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Recently, establishment of churches in residential neighborhoods has become controversial. This study is the first to address the issue of whether a neighborhood church positively or negatively affects the value of nearby single-family properties. This hypothesis is tested with a standard hedonic pricing model, using a sample of 469 sales transactions drawn from a large metropolitan area. Nonchurch effects are held constant with a standard set of housing-related variables. A distance variable is included to measure the direction and magnitude of the externality effect. Results indicate the effect of churches on sales price is negative up to approximately 850 feet. The authors suggest that empirical evidence such as this will inform both public and private parties involved in land use decisions relating to neighborhood churches.