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Updated: November 30, 2022

A real estate report touts proximity to a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, but here's the caveat

File photo / Tom Landry Potential buyers line up outside a two-unit Portland building for sale.

Maine’s home values rose dramatically in the past five years. Now a new study by the real estate tracking firm ATTOM shows that a home’s proximity to certain grocery stores may have an effect on its value.

On average over the past five years, homes in the same ZIP Code as a Trader Joe’s have gone up 49% in value. Houses near a Whole Foods Market have gone up 45%, according to ATTOM’s 2022 Grocery Store Wars analysis. 

The average home value near a Trader Joe’s is $987,923 and near Whole Foods is $891,415, ATTOM reported. Keep in mind, these are national numbers.

ATTOM, which is based in Irvine, Calif., looked at current average home values, 5-year home price appreciation for YTD 2022 vs. YTD 2017, current average home equity, home seller profits and home flipping rates in ZIP Codes with at least one Whole Foods store, one Trader Joe's store and one ALDI store. (Maine is the only New England state without an ALDI, so we'll have to accept the possible flaw in the data.)

Maine has one Trader Joe’s and one Whole Foods Market and they are within a half mile of one another in Portland, ZIP 04101.

The caveat

As the saying goes, I sense a "but" coming on.

First, ZIP Code 04101 encompasses most of the peninsula and includes much of the high-end real estate development of the past several years.

Second, it's worth noting that even without a Trader Joe’s or a Whole Foods, you would have seen significant double-digit increases like this not just in Portland, but Maine overall.

Cumberland County’s median list price was $569,500 in August, a gain of 58% from $359,450 in August 2017, according to 

Through October, Maine’s median home price was $332,000, which is up 61% from 2017, when the median home price was $200,000, according to the Maine Association of Realtors. 
Still, the ATTOM analysis offers some food for thought.
"Smart homebuyers might want to consider where they'll do their grocery shopping when they're shopping for a new home," said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at ATTOM. "It turns out that being located near grocery stores isn't only a matter of convenience for homeowners but can have a significant impact on equity and home values as well. And that impact can vary pretty widely depending on which grocery store is in the neighborhood."

The report also touts areas near ALDI as having potential for investors, with the “flipping ROI” at 54%.  

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