How much will murder impact the value of your home?
Homicides wipe $7.5 billion off the US property market every year.
It’s no surprise that murder on the premises can lower the value of your home. But just how badly does it affect prices?
Finder calculated the impact of murders on property prices across the United States. We used research from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), which found that home prices generally fall by around 3.9% for properties located within 0.2 miles of a homicide location in the year following the murder. Not only are people disturbed by the thought that someone has been killed, a murder creates a perception that the area is generally less safe and has a higher crime rate.
We applied that percentage to the housing market in each state, looking at the number of murders and the typical housing density. We then calculated the typical impact on property price, as well as the overall impact in each state.
Based on the UTS estimate of a 3.9% drop in home values for properties located within 0.2 miles of a homicide, we calculate a $7.5 billion drop in the total US housing market as a result of homicides. Even with a more conservative estimate of only a 1% drop in home values for properties located with 0.2 miles, that still comes out to $1.9 billion in housing value lost. And if we estimate that housing prices are affected by 5%, that’s a loss of an estimated $9.7 billion.
You can see how your state ranks below:
Housing prices and murder rates in one hundred cities
We also took a look at housing prices and murder rates in the largest 100 cities by population and found a weak, negative Pearson correlation of 0.37. Although correlation does not imply causation, the correlation coefficient suggests a relationship between homicide rates and home prices playing out, at least in larger cities. In other words, as homicide rates increase, home prices tend to decrease.
Data on median home prices were sourced from Zillow’s Zillow Home Value Index. Data on the number of murders in each state was sourced from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program. US housing density data was calculated based on Census data on landmass per state and housing units per state. Data on the estimated effect of a nearby homicide on property values were obtained from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Economics Discipline Group of the Business School.
UTS research found that home prices within 0.2 miles of a homicide were reduced by 3.9% in the following year.
- Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI), accessed September 10, 2021
- 2019 Crime in the US, Uniform Crime Reporting Program by the Federal Bureau of Investigation
- 2019 Population Estimates: Housing Unit Estimates for US, States, and Counties, Census Bureau
- State Area Measurements and Internal Point Coordinates, accessed September 13, 2021
- Does a Nearby Murder affect Housing Prices and Rents? The Case of Sydney, March 16, 2014
For all media inquiries, please contact:
Susannah Binsted, Head of Public Relations United States
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