The Whole Foods Effect on Real Estate…really? There is such a thing?
Yes, the Whole Foods Effect on Real Estate is an actual phenomenon with factual experiences to back it up. Since 1980, Whole Foods has pioneered the organic and natural foods movement. Nowadays, there are more than 300 locations worldwide and we are lucky enough to have a store here in Naples, Florida. The theory of the “Whole Foods Effect” suggests that there is a significant positive effect on surrounding real estate values and this has proven to be true in many examples including Washington, DC, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and Boston.
In a number of these urban locations, a first glance would beg the question, “Why are they moving there?” But the company is so good at the real estate game that neighborhoods have been kicked into high gear seemingly overnight when they have moved in. Typically, the locations have populations much bigger than Naples. However, the demographics of our area support the upscale grocer and our population multiplies dramatically during the winter months.
It is difficult to quantify the direct influence on property values in neighborhoods near the Naples store. Our real estate recovery was already poised for positive changes when the Naples location was opening and all of the other restaurants, shops, boutiques and the movie theater in Mercato certainly contributed to healthy improvement. The communities that are closest to the Naples Whole Foods store are Pelican Bay, Pelican Marsh, Beachwalk, and Naples Park.
Pelican Bay was already established as one of the premier communities in all of Naples and we’ve had great success with both our sellers and buyers there as REALTORS®. Probably the neighborhood that has benefited the most from the Mercato development and Whole Foods is Naples Park. That neighborhood has seen the inventory of homes on the market for sale cut in half over the past year and the median price increase 8%. Perhaps it would be too much to expect property values to shoot up overnight but, certainly the presence of a Whole Foods can set into motion a series of events that can change neighborhoods over a period of time.
As REALTORS® in Naples, we can tell you that buyers are keenly aware of the Whole Foods location. The MLS listings included in the radius around Mercato and Whole Foods make certain to note the proximity to the store and it is considered a big plus when trying to sell a home nearby. There is definitely a magnetic force surrounding the Whole Foods store. Such a strong magnetism that now we have a Trader Joe’s just down the street from the Whole Foods store! We’ll save that story for another blog on another day.