The “Trader Joe’s Effect” and Why It Pays to Live Near TJ’s

updated Sep 11, 2019
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While you may think your proximity to cauliflower gnocchi and Joe Joe’s is draining your bank account, a new analysis says it may actually be making you money if you own a house. According to a new analysis by ATTOM Data Solutions, homes with a Trader Joe’s location in their zip code have a high average home value and return on investment.

For the 2019 Grocery Store Battle analysis, the national property database looked at whether proximity to a location of three different grocery chains’ had an impact on a home’s value: Trader Joe’s (the California-based brand known for beloved products like Everything But the Bagel Seasoning and those dark chocolate peanut butter cups by the register that you can’t say no to); Whole Foods (the Austin, Texas-based grocer that was acquired by Amazon and is commonly referred to as “Whole Paycheck”); and ALDI (a low-cost supermarket that started in Germany.)

To calculate effect on home value, analysts looked at 1,859 zip codes nationwide with at least one ALDI, Whole Foods, or Trader Joe’s store. They analyzed current average home values, average equity homeowners had in their homes, median sales prices and profits for 2019 year-to-date, as well as one-year and five-year home price appreciation figures.

After running the numbers, they found that, of the three stores to have in a home’s vicinity, Trader Joe’s was the most valuable. Let’s call it the Trader Joe’s Effect. Not only did it have the highest home value of the three (coming in at $608,305), but it also had the highest average return on investment compared to sale price, too, at 51 percent. Homes with a Whole Foods in their area averaged at around $521,142 and proved a 41 percent ROI, while those near ALDI came in at $222,809 and a 34 percent ROI.

For comparison’s sake, we ran the numbers using Zillow’s median sale prices for June 2014 and 2019, respectively, and found that the national median homeowner would entertain a 38 percent ROI and a current sale price of $234,000. So, while the three percent return on living near a Whole Foods might quickly get eaten up by shopping there, a home near Trader Joe’s may not only save you money — but make you some, too.

To see more of the analysis, head to ATTOM Data Solution’s site.

This story originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: The “Trader Joe’s Effect”: How It Pays to Live Near TJ’s