From the wsj.com:

As any agent can attest, branding in real estate starts with names.

Witness, for example, the frenetic and constant rebranding that goes on, at the hands of realtors, of New York City’s neighborhoods. People won’t pay top dollar for an apartment in working-class Sunset Park, Brooklyn, but a closet within the porous perimeter of neighboring barrio Greenwood Heights or South Park Slope? Now you’re talking.

Names matter, even if there is (or once was) a private road called Psycho Path in Traverse City, Mich., a Divorce Court in Heather Highlands, Pa. and an intersection of Lonesome Road and Hardup Road in Albany, Ga.

Two University of Georgia professors, Velma Zahirovic-Herbert and Swarn Chatterjee, recently set out to quantify the effect of street-naming and subdivision-naming (not exactly neighborhood-naming) on housing values. Their study, published in October by the academic Journal of Real Estate Research, studied Baton Rouge, La., between October 1984 and April 2005 to try and figure out what the effect of having the words “country” or “country club” in a street name has to do with the price of the houses on that street.

What did they find?

Move to Country Lane or Country Hill Road or Country Court — any street with the word “country” in it — and you’re adding 4.2% to the value of your house, in the eyes of buyers, as compared to streets with no “country” affiliation. Move to Country Club Drive or Country Club Mews, and suddenly you add an additional 5.1% to the value of your home (yes, that’s an eye-popping total of 9.3%). A good way to preserve value in a recession, right?

Read the full article here:


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