Specialty Grocer Smackdown

Trader Joe's or Whole Foods Market: Which boosts your property values more?

Trader Joe's or Whole Foods Market: Which boosts your property values?

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Which beloved grocery chain gives you a better return on your home investment? Photo courtesy of Trader Joe's

Being located near a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods Market is a definite plus, but is one better for property values than the other?

A study released by RealtyTrac shows that much-loved specialty foods store Trader Joe’s might be doing more than saving you money — it could be making you money.

According to RealtyTrac, homeowners in the same ZIP code as Trader Joe’s stores see their home values increase an average of 40 percent. That’s 6 percent more than the home appreciation national average, 34 percent, which is the same as what being near a Whole Foods will net you.

The only downside? Property taxes near Trader Joe's also tend to be higher.

Houston residents rejoiced when Trader Joe’s announced plans to come to their respective neighborhoods, bringing with them the store's cult-favorite products and low prices. How did we ever survive without easy access to Speculoos cookie butter and olive oil popcorn?

The California-based chain arrived in the Houston area in 2012 with a store in the Woodlands, quickly followed by a Montrose store in the old Alabama Theater on Shepherd Drive and a Memorial-area location at 1440 S. Voss Road. It addd a location in Cinco Ranch in February and plans to open a store at 11683 Westheimer Road, in a supermarket-rich area, with a Harvest Natural Market next door, as well as an H-E-B, Whole Foods Market, Phoenicia Specialty Food and Sprouts all within two blocks, the Houston Business Journal reports.

Whole Foods Market has been on a spree too, opening several big new stores in the Houston area, including in BLVD Place in the Galleria area and on Voss. The Austin-based chain has 10 stores in the Houston area, including Montrose, Upper Kirby, Bellaire, Champions, Wilcrest, Katy, Sugar Land and The Woodlands.

The study looked at 2.3 million homes and compared the average of current home values to the average of home values at the time the home was last purchased in 242 ZIP codes with at least one Trader Joe’s store. Devotees of cookie butter might argue that the higher property taxes are worth it.