December 26, 2017 – Longer Lives and Houses


Anchor lead: How does real estate affect life expectancy and property values? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Making housing better, communities safer, and providing things like green spaces have an impact on life expectancy for residents, and also improve property values, demonstrating the win-win of investing in infrastructure. That’s according to David Bishai, a population health and systems expert at Johns Hopkins, in a recent study looking at the interrelationship of these factors.

Bishai: Mayors and city councils really want to win the game of improving their property values. That is how you keep score in making your town better. One operating principle that they should think about is what are we trying to do with our municipal spending is is it going to improve life expectancy? What is it doing to health? What our research shows is that the market will respect that. If you make your town healthy people will want to live there, they’ll move in and your property values will go up. Fundamentally one year of extra life expectancy will bump the property values up by 5% over the next five years.   :32

Such a strategy creates what Bishai calls a virtuous cycle where all stand to benefit. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.