Specialty Grocer Smackdown

Austin homes near this popular grocery chain boast higher property values

Austin homes near popular chain boast high property values

Speculoos Cookie Butter from Trader Joe's
Which beloved grocery chain gives you a better return on your home investment? Photo courtesy of Small Kitchen College

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.

Austin residents rejoiced when Trader Joe’s announced plans to come to town. (How did we ever survive without easy access to Speculoos cookie butter and olive oil popcorn?)

There are now three Trader Joe's locations in Austin — and three lucky ZIP codes that reap the benefits of cult-favorite products and higher home values. Trader Joe's has stores in 78746, 78759 and 78701 (its new downtown locale).

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.