Following up to Part 1 of our “Spooky Spaces, Spooky Places” report, we complete our chilling tour with the remaining top five spookiest cities in America. Is the housing market just as spooky? Let’s find out.
5. Philadelphia, PA is home to quite a few haunted spaces, like Fort Mifflin and the Eastern State Penitentiary. However, the Baleroy Mansion in Chestnut Hill, home of the cursed “Chair of Death,” caught our attention. It’s said to be “haunted by at least seven ghosts that appear as full body apparitions and as poltergeist activity[i].” Is the current real estate market in this city just as ghastly? The median asking price for a single family home listed on Homes.com is relatively affordable at $179,900[ii]. In addition, Philadelphia shows impressive growth for cities searched in Q2 this year, appearing in both the Most Improved Search Cities in the Home Buying Market and the Rental Market report.
4. The nation’s capital, Washington, DC, hosts a number of reportedly haunted locations, including Capitol Hill, the White House, and Lafayette Square. However, the Octagon House is supposedly one of the most haunted homes in DC. Located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood with just over 200 years of history, this house is reported to have hosted many apparitions, including the spirits of African American slaves who once lived there[iii]. How haunting is the real estate market in this city today? DC is popular among renters and found in our Q2 Most Improved Search Cities in the Rental Market report. According to the U.S. Census, this area shows a limited supply of available rental properties, with a current Rental Vacancy Rate of 4.2%[iv], which could drive demand and benefit investors. For those interested in buying a home though, the median listing price of a single family home for sale is $599,000. With a reported 3.7% increase in average home values from the Case-Shiller index[v], this city may not be such a spooky investment.
3. Savannah, GA, home to one of the nation’s largest historic districts, is up next on our list. Savannah boasts several spooky locations, including the Pirates’ House and the Moon River Brewing Company. However, it’s the Hampton-Lillibridge house that claims the title of the most haunted space in this city. According to Wikipedia, it has also been referred to as the “most haunted house” in the U.S[vi]. This three-story house was built in 1796 and purchased by a builder in 1960, who hoped to restore it. Since then, strange phenomena, countless exorcisms, and investigations have taken place[vii]. Are the real estate prices in Savannah in need of an exorcism? You can certainly get more “spooky space” for your money in this city, with a median price per square feet of $108 and a relatively affordable median list price of $197,500.
2. San Francisco, CA ranks second with the notoriously famous haunting of Alcatraz in its bay area. In addition, the Chambers Mansion, situated in the affluent Pacific Heights neighborhood, is now known as one of the most haunted sites in the city. Built in 1887, this mansion was home to silver tycoon and U.S. senator Richard Chambers. It’s been reported that Chambers’ fortune was “the result of a pact with the devil and it was at this house that the devil came to collect his due[viii].” Years after Chambers’ death, his niece suffered a gruesome fate while living in the house. What fate is in store for the housing market in this city? Similar to DC, San Francisco is highly sought after by renters, ranking #2 in our Most Improved Rental Market report and showing a low rental vacancy rate of 3.2%. With a high demand and low inventory, investors are sure to get top dollar for asking prices. In fact, the current median price for all rentals on Homes.com, including apartments, is $2,850 per month. That’s more than double the average of our top 100 cities. It’s apparent why most would choose the option to rent, as the median list price of a single family home for sale is a whopping $810,000. However, the Case-Shiller index shows a recent 4.8% increase in home values for this metropolitan area, proving it may not be so spooky for homeowners here.
1. New Orleans, LA, a city known for its eclectic culture and history, tops our list with many spooky spaces. In addition to its Voodoo heritage, New Orleans may be home to spirits from the past. One of the top haunts in the area, the LaLaurie House, is positioned in the French Quarter. With a history dating back more than 180 years, this house is thought to be haunted by the slave victims to Madame LaLaurie, a Louisiana born socialite known for her involvement in torture and murder of these slaves. The house was purchased by famous actor, Nicholas Cage, for $3.45 million in 2007 and then listed for auction in 2009 as a result of bank foreclosure[ix]. So, what can others looking to purchase a home expect here? The median asking price is quite different than the price Cage paid for the LaLaurie house; New Orleans is currently reflecting a price of $179,000 and $99 per square foot for a single family home, giving you the most “spooky space” for your money out of this list.
The decision to purchase a home is certainly a “grave” matter, regardless of where you are looking to live. These cities, full of history and reported haunts, also show a variety of real estate markets and home prices. So, if you’re interested in taking up residence in any of these spooky cities, check out Homes.com for more information and you may soon find yourself in the “spirit” of Halloween year round.
[i] Wikipedia, Reportedly haunted locations in Pennsylvania, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reportedly_haunted_locations_in_Pennsylvania
[ii] Homes.com active listings as of Sep 18, 2012
[iii] Wikipedia, Reportedly haunted locations in Washington, D.C., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reportedly_haunted_locations_in_Washington,_D.C.
[iv] Reported by US Census, Housing Vacancies and Homeownership, for metropolitan area as of Q2 2012
[v] S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, Not Seasonally Adjusted for Metropolitan area as of July 2012
[vi] Wikipedia, List of Reportedly Haunted Locations in the United States, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_reportedly_haunted_locations_in_the_United_States#Georgia
[vii] TopTenz.net, Top 10 Most Haunted Cities in the U.S., http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-most-haunted-cities-in-the-u-s.php
[viii] TruTV, Top 10 Haunted Houses in America, http://www.trutv.com/conspiracy/paranormal/haunted-houses/gallery.html