06511 Leads State In Rising Home Values
The values of single-family homes in the central part of New Haven rose faster from 2004 to 2015 than values in any other part of the state of Connecticut, according to a new Washington Post analysis.
The Post compiled home value data from over 19,000 zip codes across the nation. The 06511 zip code, which generally includes Dwight-West River, Beaver Hills, Dixwell, Newhallville, East Rock, and Wooster Square, saw a 28% increase in home value in the past 12 years, the largest percentage increase in the state. In this area, the average single family home in 2015 was worth $75,908 more than it was in 2004.
Central New Haven also had among the highest single family property values of any zip code within the region. A typical single-family home in zip code 06511 was worth $351,000 in 2015—more than single-family homes in any nearby zip codes except Woodbridge ($397,000) and Guilford ($386,000). Home values in central New Haven have increased faster than, and are worth more than, single family homes in any zip code within Bridgeport, Hartford, or Waterbury.
Within Connecticut, the only other zip codes that saw a comparable jump were 06878 and 06820 – wealthy neighborhoods within Greenwich and Darien that saw property values increase by 21 and 23 percent, respectively. Throughout Fairfield and New Haven Counties as a whole, values dropped by 4 percent.
The Westville and Amity sections of New Haven also outperformed other nearby areas, with zip code 06515 seeing a 15 percent increase.  Values in other sections of the city remained relatively flat.
According to the Post, nationwide trends show that, as the housing market has recovered, wealthier neighborhoods have seen greater increases in home values — a concerning shift that reflects growing income inequality. New Haven seems to be somewhat of an anomaly in this sense. The average home value in the city is roughly comparable to home values across the state as a whole. Yet, it has still seen significantly more growth than its nearby peer cities and towns have over the past decade.
The Post also noted disparities correlated with zip codes’ racial compositions. The data shows that neighborhoods with large minority populations have seen less improvement in the housing market. Some predominantly African-American neighborhoods within sections of Bridgeport, Providence, and Hartford saw steep declines. But New Haven broke the trend, since it has a racially-diverse population but has seen significantly greater improvement than many surrounding neighborhoods that are mostly white, including Woodbridge and Bethany, where home values dropped by nearly 10 percent.
One possible explanation for the trend is that central New Haven is perceived as a more walkable community than surrounding areas of the state. In many cities throughout the United States, walkable urban cores saw more rapid appreciation in home values than distant suburbs – for example, several neighborhoods in central Brooklyn registered price increases of nearly 200 percent even as prices stagnated in much of Long Island.  This pattern was observed in other parts of Connecticut, too: for example, throughout the Greater Hartford region, the most rapid increases took place in the central sections of West Hartford, and in lower Fairfield County, coastal areas like Greenwich and Darien improved more quickly than inland areas with similar levels of wealth but lower levels of walkability. Results from the 2015 DataHaven Community Wellbeing Survey of over 16,000 randomly-selected adults statewide confirm that West Hartford, New Haven, Darien, and Greenwich are perceived to be among the most walkable areas of the state, as defined by a scale of survey questions that measures perceived access to nearby stores, parks, bike lanes, safe neighborhoods, and sidewalks.  Recent reports suggest that these types of areas have seen dramatic increases in real estate values because people of all ages are seeking to reduce their reliance on cars.
Aparna Nathan is Research Intern at DataHaven, a formal partner of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership with a 25-year history of public service to Greater New Haven and Connecticut. DataHaven’s mission is to improve quality of life by collecting, sharing and interpreting public data for effective decision making. Mark Abraham, DataHaven’s Executive Director, helped edit this article.