On a regional level, the Center for Real Estate at MIT completed a MIT Study on property value effects that examined rental developments in six “similar” communities in the Boston metropolitan area. They found that high-density mixed-income rental developments in single-family neighborhoods do not affect the value of surrounding homes. This study used complex modeling techniques to create quality-controlled sales price indexes for both the impact area (abutters and immediate neighbors) and the control area (the remainder of single-family homes in that town). The Press Release for the MIT Study on Property Values provides some additional insights and information.
Closer to home, a Sudbury affordable housing and property value analysis was completed, comparing the change in assessment value of individual homes and sub-divisions living directly abutting affordable housing, and those in vicinity in the 2006 to 2007 period. For the homes selected, abutters to affordable homes experienced slightly higher increases in property values compared to both Sudbury overall as well as homes in their neighborhood, and definitely not less.
While assessment formula relies heavily on neighborhood sales, there is a lag. Sales data in the same period was then reviewed. In all sales for 2007, more than half (52%) sold for over the assessed value and the other half sold for under the assessed value.
Looking more closely, an immediate abutting home to one of the few affordable housing duplexes in Town sold for almost 10% above the assessment value in August 2006. This is a very specific and targeted data point that may help to provide information for concerns in this area.