An interesting read from the Center for American Progress on how violent crime affects property values. “The Economic Benefits of Reducing Violent Crime” (click takes you to a PDF) found that besides the obvious — saving money on police, courts, and jails — reducing violent crime has a direct effect on property values.
Across five cities with the necessary data for our analysis, we found
that a 10 percent reduction in homicides should lead to a 0.83
percent increase in housing values the following year, and a 25 percent
reduction in homicides should produce a 2.1 percent increase
in housing prices over the next year.
Looking at some major metro areas, the report found that “A 10 percent reduction in homicides should increase the value of residential real estate by $4.4 billion in the Boston metropolitan area, $3.2 billion in Philadelphia, [and] $2.9 billion in Seattle.”
Big cities benefit, but it’s proportional — so while smaller areas may not see billions in difference, they will see something, and that means more tax revenue and better citizens services. Oh, and less blood in the streets, too.