Recently, a realtor was bemoaning the drop in property values in Boxford; it is all too often a sad reality that a house must be sold at drastically reduced prices in the region. In fact, this has become a national problem.
But what about Newburyport?
Our property values are largely stable and in some categories, increasing. Homes abutting Artichoke Reservoir or near Storey Avenue are holding up as much as the homes that are near our Downtown or on High Street.
The reason? Our historic district is buttressing our city’s stability. It is well-documented across the United States, local historic districts stabilize and rise slightly the general property values for not just the LHD itself but for the entire community.*
In Charleston, In Savannah and in thousands of communities (including Haverhill even!); local historic districts become the rudders for a healthy ship of state.
In other words, the Newburyport Historic District is the foundation for the values of the twelve other non-historic neighborhoods in our city.
It is this simple concept that we have to get through to the average property owner in Newburyport.
It is not always obvious to many – even Dick Sullivan, Jr. familiar with his families’ real estate firm doesn’t get it. Larry Giunta, who ran recently for city council, intimately familiar with the building industry, doesn’t get it.
Why? Because they use off-repeated anecdotal ideas and rely on outdated, non-statistical concepts they acquired over the years that used to work. Another major roadblock can be an ideology that short-circuits and roadblocks hard facts. (No one likes to be shown they are wrong.)
* We did have LHD-style restrictions on our Downtown until 2005; and much of our high-value is derived by new homeowners who ‘thought’ the city was protected assuming that such would secure and protect their investment only to find later it would not.