Home prices don’t lie, I guess.
So far, the controversial high-rise under development near Rice University hasn’t hurt the housing market in the neighborhoods around it.
The average home price in the nearby Boulevard Oaks area was $1.36 million in the first half of the year. That’s up 58 percent over the same period in 2012 and the highest increase among 18 high-end neighborhoods tracked by the Greenwood King real estate brokerage. The average sales price in the adjacent Southampton neighborhood was $1.2 million, up 29 percent from last year.
Homes in those neighborhoods have been selling at a faster clip than many others. The average time it took to sell a house from January through the end of June was 25 days for Boulevard Oaks and 23 days for Southampton, the Greenwood King report said.
Based on the numbers, residents can’t exactly complain their area has been negatively impacted. In an open letter to the developers, residents fighting against the project said the tower at 1717 Bissonnet at Ashby would “devastate” property values.
As you know, I’m no fan of the Ashby highrise. Soaring property values in this highly desirable neighborhood aside, I remain convinced it’s the wrong location for the project. We also have no way of knowing what would have happened to property values in a non-Ashby world. All that said, this is a pretty striking blow against one of the main arguments against this kind of development. Material harm isn’t the only way to measure the effect of having a multi-story building as a neighbor, but the absence of such harm will make it a lot more difficult to get relief from the courts.