In his 2011 paper, “The Lasting Effects of Crime: The Relationship of Discovered Methamphetamine Laboratories and Home Values,” Holy Cross econ professor Joshua Congdon-Hohman calculates how much damage meth labs cause to surrounding home values after they’re discovered…Using housing sales data from Akron, Ohio — home to that state’s largest concentration of meth labs — Congdon-Hohman finds the following:
- For homes sold within an eighth of a mile after a lab is discovered, there is a 10.5% decline in sales prices.
- Within the first year of the discovery the decline can be as much as 19%.
- For homes sold within a quarter of a mile after a lab is discovered, there is a 4.5% decline.
- The declines persist for at least two years.
- It didn’t matter if an additional meth lab was discovered — just a single busted cook site can take down several blocks.
Summary: you don’t want meth makers on your street, particularly if you want more money when you sell your house. If reduced property values aren’t enough, I suspect the typical suburbanite also doesn’t want meth makers on their street because they don’t fit the image of a happy, stable, law-abiding neighborhood.