Outside Historic District, Property Values Appreciate 5 times Faster in St. Petersburg.

homes gains historic districtAnti-property rights historic “preservationists” like to claim that homes values increase when in an historic district. However an exclusive analysis by Sunbeam Times reveals that houses in St. Petersburg’s Grenada Terrace Historic District have lost value compared to comparable houses in the same neighborhood but outside of that district. This adds to the conclusions off about a dozen Pinellas county property appraisers advising St. Petersburg City Council that historic district status is also associated with lower home values, more difficulty in selling a house, and more costly repairs that decrease the gain on investment when the house is sold. However historic district proponents are still clinging to pseudoscience and faulty studies by biased political groups to dispute the obvious reality that historic district status actually depress gains in home values.

Sunbeam times founder Dr. David McKalip analyzed the most recent home sales in Granada Terrace, the historic district located in the Old Northeast section of St. Petersburg (the same one where residents want to end the status). Comparable sales data was used form the Pinellas County Property Appraiser (PCPA) website database search tool. (Comparable sales data was only available on the 9 most recent houses sales recorded as having sold from 2012 to 2015). The PCPA records were was used to compare the sales with in Granada Terrace to those outside of Granada Terrace but in a similar neighborhood*.

homes gains historic district TableThe price of the recently sold homes was compared to the price of the home at the time of a prior sale. The percentage change in the value of the home was calculated per year. The graph accompanying this shows that Holmes in Granada in Granada Terrace appreciated at a rate of point 0.9 – 27% per year. Homes comparable homes outside of the historic district appreciated at a rate of 4.4-202% percent per year. The average annual percentage gain in the Historic District was 11.8% while it was 51.5% in similar homes in the same neighborhood outside the Grenada Terrace Historic District. Thus, on average, homes outside the historic district had an annual percentage increase in property value at a rate five times higher compared to those in the Granada Terrace Historic District. Furthermore homes in Granada Terrace sold less frequently than homes outside of Granada Terrace but that were still comfortable in value. It took homes in Grenada Terrace 7-35 years to sell (average 14 years), compared to similar homes outside the district which sold every 1-20 years (average 11 years).

statistics on hd sales in st pete

Statistical comparison of Houses inside and outside Grenada Terrace Historic District.

Inside Grenada Terrace.

Range annual percent Value gain 0.98%-27.27% Range years between sales 7yrs-35 yrs
Average annual percent Value gain` 11.79218606 Average Years Between Sales 15
Median annual percent Value gain 7.466666667 median years between sales 14

Outside Grenada Terrace Historic District in Comparable Homes.

Range annual percent Value gain 4.4%-204.9% Range between Sales 1 year-20 years
Average annual percent Value gain` 51.52573236 Average years between sale 11
Median annual percent Value gain 13.26086957 median years between sales 13


This adds valuable data to be considered by City Council. Right now the anti-property rights “preservation” groups are claiming that values go up based on faulty data from historic preservation advocate Donovan Rypkema. However he works for a think tank (“Place Economics”) that clearly is a biased advocate for historic preservation. In addition the property appraisers in Pinellas County have criticized the studies that he uses as inadequate. Studies have been based on property tax rolls and similar data but not on the actual value of the home in any meaningful way. In addition the property values in those faulty studies do not account for the cost of renovation required to bring the value of a home higher.

The City Council should use data from within our own city to look at property values. Instead, they are looking at bad studies from biased political activists analyzing faulty data in other cities. Citizens who want to protect the value of their property should show up at City Council on Thursday April August 20th at 6 p.m. at St Petersburg City Hall. It is located at 175 5th Street north. Parking is located on the north side of 2nd Avenue North between 4th and 5th Street north and is free during the meeting. Citizens should fill out a yellow card and spend three minutes of the microphone to get on the record to oppose the ordinances that are proposed to make it easier to create a historic district in the city of St. Petersburg.


*To keep the analysis fair, houses sold within a few days of the same year were used when comparing houses sold outside the historic district. So while most houses sold in 2015 those that sold from 2012-2014 were compared to houses that sold within a few days of the sale dates in those years. In addition every attempt was made to compare the value of the home at the time of sale versus the value of the home getting back to the year 2000. However when homes had a sale before 2000 they were also evaluated. Data is available here for the independant analysis.



One Reply:

  1. Jim.Smith

    As happens so often in city government, there appears to be an under-the-table agenda with historic designation.
    South St. Pete residents loudly decry gentrification. The mayor and council seem to have found a way to suppress these concerns, ie., “We’ll let you pick historic designation of some sections of south St. Pete,” meanwhile allowing developers to gentrify the rest. I’m not certain this is what south St. Pete residents were after. It was a skillful yet sneaky political ploy, I think, to pull this off.

Comments are closed.