It's called the "Starbucks Effect," and in Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate, a new book about the real-estate market by Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff and chief economist Stan Humphries, there is an entire chapter on the phenomenon.
"Here’s what we can tell you: Starbucks equates with venti-sized home-value appreciation," the chapter, which you can read on Quartz, states. "Moreover, Starbucks seems to be fueling—not following—these higher home values."
The authors found that houses near Starbucks locations appreciated 96 percent between 1997 and 2014, compared to a 65 percent jump for the real-estate market as a whole. If you're itching to cry correlation and not causation, know that the authors accounted for things like a "coast effect" or an "urban effect." They even considered the possibility that Starbucks stores are just early arrivers to already gentrifying neighborhoods where real estate would have increased in value regardless of whether or not the coffee chain moved in.
To attempt to rule out these possibilities, we tracked values of homes in a very tight ring within a quarter mile of Starbucks (so close you could practically smell the dark roast from your front porch) and compared those very-Starbucks-adjacent homes to houses slightly farther away, in a ring of homes between a quarter- and a half-mile from a Starbucks. And we compared home values in these two rings (adjacent and nearby) for only the five years after the Starbucks location actually opened, in order to see whether the effect took place after the opening or already existed before the store opened.
What they found is that better proximity to Starbucks, even differentiated by just a quarter of a mile, still resulted in greater appreciation. Or, as they put it: "Whatever the reasons—because they genuinely like drinking coffee, or because they see Starbucks as a proxy for gentrification—it seems pretty clear that people are paying a premium for homes near Starbucks. And furthermore, it looks like Starbucks itself is driving the increase in home values"—something to consider next time you complain about the tireless encroachment of Starbucks on your neighborhood.