If your rent is too damn high, you might want to look for a new apartment far, far away from Trader Joe's.
This month, real-estate analytics firm RealtyTrac released a study showing that homes near Trader Joe's supermarkets tend to have higher values (and property taxes) than those near Whole Foods. Since renting has become increasingly popular – especially among young Americans – Fusion asked RealtyTrac about the difference in rents.
It turns out that, across 14 U.S. states, living near a Trader Joe's means your rent is 12% higher, on average, than living near a Whole Foods. It's $1,900 for a three bedroom near Trader Joe's, vs. $1,700 as a Whole Foods neighbor. (Apartments with fewer bedrooms would likely be cheaper; RealtyTrac uses three-bedroom apartments as a metric in its analyses.)
Of course there are many factors that drive up housing costs – few, if any, have to do with the local grocery store. If anything, high-end supermarkets are a symptom of a housing boom rather than a cause. The study had a heavy dose of silliness, but was interesting to shoppers who have loyalty to one store or another.
"Trader Joe's, whether intentionally or not, [ends up being in] more affluent, high priced neighborhoods," RealtyTrac's Daren Blomquist said. "Both are obviously targeting more affluent higher priced neighborhoods."
In the initial home-price study, Blomquist found that the more significant difference in home values and rental prices was between homes near a high-end supermarket vs. supermarkets like Aldi's, which cater to shoppers with tighter wallets.
Homes near Trader Joe's saw an average appreciation of 40 percent from the most recent purchase; Whole Foods was 34 percent; Aldi's 16 percent.
So, which supermarket would you prefer to live by? Take the poll below and let us know why in the comments.
Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.