How Does Artwork Affect Real Estate Prices?

 Murals are increasing real estate values

Sixty-four thousand years ago, Neanderthals began carving and painting images on cave walls. Paintings and statues are found in every home and public building today. But, how does artwork affect real estate prices?

The Math is Tricky

When you ask, “How does artwork affect real estate prices?” It is hard to find specifics. However, real estate agents and developers agree that art improves the value of properties.

“Art creates the impression of a more valuable home,” Theo Adamstein, of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, told the Washington Post. “If you think about a beautifully designed home with strong architecture, you can appreciate it for what it is, but without art, it’s not finished. It’s missing an important component. Art rounds out the impression of living there.”

Adamstein cautions that there is no set formula for how much art can add to the value of a home.

“You can’t say by how much,” according to Adamstein, “because that implies there’s a formula and if you spend a certain amount then the house goes up a certain amount. Art embellishes a home, it adds to a home’s character, it adds color and rhythm and makes it more interesting than it may otherwise be, and that absolutely adds value.”  

Vandalism to Valuation

Thirty years ago, communities charged people who painted on buildings with vandalism. Today, property owners and cities are paying artists to do the same thing. Why? Because the artwork increases the value of the real estate and bring money to the local economy.

In many cases, art transforms a neighborhood.

Wynwood Walls

Take, for instance, the Wynwood district of Miami, FL In 2009 a project began to paint murals on 18 warehouses there. 

The enhanced ambiance allowed landlords to increase warehouse rents from $10 a square foot in 2009 to over $50 a square foot today. Tourists began to frequent the area. Restaurants, galleries, and retail shops sprung up.

The project has expanded to 800,000 square feet featuring 50 artists. Now the area is known as the Wynwood Walls. It has become a prime tourist destination as well as a hot spot for locals.

The Rice Mill Lofts in New Orleans incorporates street art in its design. When it was renovated in 2010, the former rice mill was covered with graffiti. The developer left what was there and hired other artists to add more. The 69-units were fully rented within five months. 

Even Being Near Art Enhances Real Estate Values

“Murals enrich a city’s landscape by adding personality and character”, writes Wood Caldwell, principal at Nashville commercial real estate firm Southeast Venture. “They invite conversation and make communities feel welcoming by creating a unique environment for locals and visitors.”

Many cities big and small, have established mural programs to enhance real estate values and draw locals and tourists. Nashville’s program is the Nashville Walls Project. Phoenix, AZ has the Murals of Phoenix program. 

Indianapolis, IN has created The Indianapolis Cultural Trail, an eight-mile path featuring public art. Prior to the pandemic, Realtor.com estimated the trail had raised surrounding property values by $1 billion. 

Bottom line, So How Does Artwork Affect Real Estate?

People may disagree on what is good art, but realtors and developers alike have seen that art is good for real estate.

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