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July 15, 2010

Interesting research on sex offender registration and home sales

I just saw via SSRN this intriguing criminology paper titled "Estimating the Effect of Crime Risk on Property Values and Time on Market: Evidence from Megan’s Law in Virginia."  Here is the abstract:

This paper explores the effect that living near a sex offender has on the marketability of one’s home. Specifically, we estimate the impact on a home’s sales price and the length of time it takes for the home to sell.  Since the 1994 passage of Sexual Offender Act (known as Megan’s Law), persons convicted of sex crimes have been required to notify local law enforcement about their current domicile and any change of address.  Since then, sex offenders’ residencies have become publicly available information allowing anyone to lookup whether a sex offender resides nearby.  Using cross-sectional data from a central Virginia multiple listing service we find that sexual offenders have robust and economically large effects on nearby real estate.  Our results indicate that the presence of a nearby registered sex offender reduces home values by approximately 9%.  Moreover, these same homes take as much as 10% longer to sell than homes not located near registered sex offenders.  These results prove robust over numerous specifications and modeling techniques commonly found in the literature.

In light of this research, I fear it may be only a matter of time before someone with a political agenda tries to start blaming the burst of the housing bubble on sex offenders.

July 15, 2010 at 04:07 PM | Permalink


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So maybe a few legislators will figure out that expanding the registry to include non-dangerous, non-repetitive sex offenders is not a good thing for the local economy.

More likely, however, will be witch hunts and vigilante groups hunting down and driving out RSOs...


Posted by: jpr | Jul 15, 2010 6:16:57 PM

Crime probably suppresses prices by a lot more, for example by a half.

The lawyer maintains his own home's price by allowing zero crime in his residential town. An analysis should be done on home sales next to those of lawyers. I bet, the reverse is true. A premium is attached to the price, and the turnaround is shortened. The lawyer has unjustly enriched itself by herding crime into minority neighborhoods where he works. That should be retrieved by a $10,000 crime lover collaborator traitor fee on the yearly renewal of the lawyer license. The entire amount should go to compensate crime victims of the lawyer's client, the criminal.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 15, 2010 10:27:10 PM

i doubt it jim more it is much more likely considering the examples of history the ex sex offenders have to go on that they will reach a point where they will either simply refuse to comply with any rules other than those on EVERY american and just demand the govt arrest them all or they will refuse to go quietly into the night and start killing on the valid assemption that if they dont' kill us WE will eventually kill them.

Posted by: rodsmith | Jul 16, 2010 1:03:40 AM

as for the goodie-goodies crying now about the home values. i say TOUGH! you wanted these illegal and criminal rules well guess what! YOU GOT THEM.

Now live with the results like the ex sexoffenders now have to.

Posted by: rodsmith | Jul 16, 2010 1:05:35 AM

"...start blaming the burst of the housing bubble on sex offenders."

No. The cause of the housing bubble is settled. It is the lawyer. This incompetent forced banks to lend to minority crack heads. He sent in ACORN thugs to bust up their lobbies if they hesitated to lend to irresponsible, full time Roman orgy lifestyle minorities. The lawyer then chortled productive sectors by filing frivolous lawsuits. The lawyer killed manufacturing. It is now plundering health care and the drug companies. The lawyer is killing our economy with ruinous false litigation and unproven, experimental over-regulation.

The lawyer sent his friend and good client, the career criminal, to devastate housing prices by moving in next door. When underwriters were forced to approve shady mortgage applications, the lawyer regulator did nothing. He stood by and watched as unacceptable application were approved by force. Why? Likely, he wanted a revolving door job with the bank in the future.

The lawyer forced bad loans and failed to protect the integrity of the mortgage application review system.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 16, 2010 8:12:38 AM

This study again proves that the public Registered Sex Offender List (RSOL) not only punishes the RSO for life in many instances, but also punishes the family and community the RSO lives in. Until the RSOL is limited to only those who are a danger (which they should not be released) this list will never serve its purpose. Studies have proven this list has not protected our children. Most sexual abuse of children comes from family members, trusted coaches or friends. My daughter recently bought a condo in Arlington County, VA. When she was given the specifications of her condo included in her package was a list with pictures, addresses and other information of the 34 sex offenders living within a five mile radius of the property she was interested in. She did buy the condo and is aware of the uselessness of this list. I don’t know if disclosure of RSO’s is required when providing information on a property. Maybe there should be a list letting buyers know if a convicted drug dealer, thief, child abuser or drunk driver lives close by. Maybe we should include the race and religions of the people living nearby too. (A am the mother of a non-violent RSO)

Posted by: Miriam Young | Jul 16, 2010 9:36:13 AM

My brother's neighbors fled in the night, they were too scared to live next door to him and they knew nothing about him. He also received threatening messages dropped off in the end of his driveway telling him to move... no doubt tied to someone who wanted to sell their house but knew him living in the area might hurt their chances or their sale price. He even had someone try to break into his house at night (likely to vandalize or kill him)and could not defend himself or his family because he is not allowed to keep a firearm for self defense.. he literally ran the guy off in the night with a broom handle held like a gun. Now he keeps a fire-axe next to the bed, it does not have a missile range, but I would hate to be the person on the receiving end of that. Reports like this do nothing but feed the hysteria.. not only are they "coming after my kids" but now Soccer Moms have something ghastly against sex offenders that probably bothers them more.. "They're coming after my home's value!"

Posted by: tbucket | Jul 16, 2010 3:39:52 PM

The use of the registry to harass is subject to criminal penalty.


One may not criticize the sex offender without getting arrested and sued.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 17, 2010 12:13:38 PM

I live in a neighborhood where lawyers live. There were two sex offenders. One lives there, one works there.

I put in a neighborhood where lawyers work. There were 68 sex offenders.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 17, 2010 12:25:24 PM


"The use of the registry to harass is subject to criminal penalty.


One may not criticize the sex offender without getting arrested and sued."

Now if you could find even ONE case of someone even being charged let alone convicted of anything.

Posted by: rodsmith | Jul 17, 2010 12:50:32 PM

Please, do not hum sarcastically on the internet. Nor use the phrase, it seems to me, not the phrase, assuming arguendo. These get to me as fingernails across a blackboard do. Thank you for your kindness.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 17, 2010 1:06:52 PM

Rod: Desuetude is accepted in only one state, West Virginia. That is the doctrine that the non-use of a law cancels it after a time. So a law against witchcraft has not been enforced in 300 years. It cannot be used today if desuetude were accepted. In the other 49 states, all laws may still be used, at the discretion of a prosecutor.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 17, 2010 2:39:59 PM

"Rod: Desuetude is accepted in only one state, West Virginia. That is the doctrine that the non-use of a law cancels it after a time. So a law against witchcraft has not been enforced in 300 years. It cannot be used today if desuetude were accepted. In the other 49 states, all laws may still be used, at the discretion of a prosecutor."

I think you missed the point. i was calling you out on the joke of a law that supposedly will prosecute anyone who is even as you say "criticize" a sex offender. Where has these laws been when sex offenders have had their home burnt to the ground; their cars destroyed; lost their jobs thanks to the ususal ASS who complains to the boss becasue the share the same buildng with an ex offender. BUT the state has no problem bringing charges on ex offenders under failure to update the registry over such idiotic and criminal charges like some i've seen like the 62 old in a wheelchair and using an ozy tank for the ultimate crime of moving 6 FEET from one side of the hall of an apartment building to the other when his lanloard fellt sorry for him and gave him a bigger apartment right across from his old one. Or for being 999ft from a school instead of 1000 even those to even REQUIRE this is a direct violation of the ONLY u.s suspreme court ruling on the registry. So sorry to even bring up that joke of a law is an insult.

Posted by: rodsmith | Jul 17, 2010 10:36:56 PM

The KKK, a lawyer founded and managed fraternal organization, lynched 5000 black folks publicly. Impossible without immunization by the local prosecutor and judges. So, the idiocy, the injustice, the crimes against humanity you describe are nothing new.

The SC has granted the prosecutor absolute immunity from tort liability for incompetence and carelessness, plus absolute discretion to bring cases. This worthless government sinecure sitting slacker will spend $2 million to prosecute Martha Stewart on a $100 beef, and do nothing about paramilitary organized illegal alien gangs that behead people who offend their dignity. The prosecutor is looking out only for itself and future career effects of getting into the newspaper. It allows 90% of crime to go unanswered. It plea bargains horrific crimes to just about nothing to avoid doing its job of prosecution.

The prosecutor is an at will employee, with no civil service protection. If a naive newcomer tries to do his job well, the political hacks running the office will crush the person.

I can see a pro-criminal Democrat prosecutor bringing charges of harassment of a sex offender against dissidents objecting to the orgiastic activities of a sex offender for partisan political purposes. The law is there for that abusive purpose.

As to the sex offenders, it depends. The 10 year old kid who got registered after he peed in an alley in Texas should be left alone. Do you have any objection to the burning down of the house of the murderer of Megan, with him in it? The law protected him, not her. And decent people have no legal recourse against the worthless procriminal prosecutor refusing to protect the public from his good client, the criminal. He owes his job to the criminal, not to the public. The prosecutors and judges set the crime rate at 2 million a year, with 17,000 murders and a six fold burden of higher murder rate carried by black folks.

I would have no moral objection to that, nor to the rezoning out of the homes of the prosecutor and judges that allowed this homicidal sex maniac loose on a neighborhood with kids. Those are the real, pro-criminal, irresponsible officials who should pay, at least in torts. You can always find examples of mistaken overreaching by folks. However, out of control, impulsive sex offenders should never be loose in a neighborhood.

As to the guy on oxygen, I would not allow him access to kids, no matter how weak he appears.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 18, 2010 7:39:17 AM

The crime rate of FBI index felonies is 23 million a year, not 2 million.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 18, 2010 7:48:39 AM

"Do you have any objection to the burning down of the house of the murderer of Megan, with him in it? "

Actualy YES i do since the last idiot who tried it only managed to murder the man's WIFE not him!

as for this!

" The law protected him, not her. And decent people have no legal recourse against the worthless procriminal prosecutor refusing to protect the public from his good client, the criminal."

Actually they do have a LEGAL recourse it's called a VOTE! get off their asses and get educated as to what their representatives ACTUALLY belive and vote out those who are criminals and lier's!

but if as you want to suggest they have the right to VIIOLATE the law if they dont' agree with it. Guess that means that 1,000,000 ex sex offenders have every legal right to show up in a state capital or washington and just wipe out the politicians.

YOU can't have it both ways.

Posted by: rodsmith | Jul 18, 2010 1:22:21 PM

as for this crack!

"As to the guy on oxygen, I would not allow him access to kids, no matter how weak he appears."

We're not talking about his access to children. We we're talking about is a 3 YEAR failure to register charge for nto being healty enouh to go downtown and update an ILLEGAL REGISTRY to the fact that he moved 6 FEET from one side of a hallway to another!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jul 18, 2010 1:24:51 PM

"The crime rate of FBI index felonies is 23 million a year, not 2 million."

Now for the big big big question! How many of them are REAL crimes involving REAL PEOPLE and not technical felonies created by the govt to keep the 100,000,000,000 DOLLAR prison industry system running.

Posted by: rodsmith | Jul 18, 2010 1:26:54 PM

Just a couple of technical points if I might.

A decrease in home prices is more likely to stimulate the market than depress it, since homes become affordable to more people.

Second, as SC points out, neighborhoods known for crime of any sort have depressed prices relative to neighborhoods that don't. The phenomenon is not particular to sex crimes.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jul 18, 2010 1:31:12 PM

considering that registered sex offenders are almost all felons and the earning power of convicted felons of any type is severely limited, the study may be mistaking cause and effect. registered sex offenders may be in a neighborhood because it is cheap and prices are being depressed by other factors. anyone who has looked at a sex offender registry where they live knows that about the only offenders who ever live in good areas are a few icky pervs who were caught with child pron.

plus, even assuming argumendo that icky pervs due cause hosuing values to decrease, with sentences and civil commitment for icky pervs continually increasing, i'm sure that the problem will soon take care of itself ;)

ginny :)

Posted by: virginia | Jul 18, 2010 8:11:37 PM

The FBI Index felonies were to make crime reporting more uniform. They are:

1. Criminal Homicide

2. Forcible Rape

3. Robbery

4. Aggravated Assault

5. Burglary

6. Larceny-Theft

7. Motor Vehicle Theft

8. Arson

The first four are called "violent crime." The 23 million figure does not come from the police but from population victim survey, the most reliable measure of crime. It far exceeds police report crime, since it is in the interest of the police career to throw crime reports in the trash.

You may judge the adequacy of the methodology for yourself. It seems good.


Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 18, 2010 8:15:17 PM

bill- good point, but I believe that people who want to SELL their homes when a SO lives in their neighborhood may not see it your way.. they see depressed prices, and blame the SO for their inability to sell their home in a real bad market.. they don't see the possibility of making the local market better as anything positive, not only because in their minds they cannot sell their home because of the local SO, but also that they want to leave the local market, not improve it.

Any crime may depress a neighborhood, but SOs will be what is primarily blamed, regardless of what else went down in that 'hood. The perfect scapegoat, really... first they'll be to blame for home prices, but really nothing is stopping any other strange charges from being brought against sex offenders, because who is going to defend their rights? Not many. The rights of the few have finally become secondary to the majority, regardless of what the Constitution does to protect the few.

The country is changing, I don't think many know how much we already conveniently ignore whatever laws the general populace doesn't agree with anymore... the crafting of unconstitutional laws by sensationalist politicians is a problem that is not going away until those same politicians get punished for the illegal law they drafted and the oath they broke to uphold and protect the Constitution.. how? By writing laws that directly conflict with what the Constitution says? And thinly veiling it as something other than punishment? Trying to be "sneaky" when drafting a bill goes against everything this country is founded on.. by the people and for the people? Should it not now read "By politicians, and for those too lazy to think for themselves"?

Ginny- You are right, but that does not make what you said any less scary..brrr....the tightening of restrictions on SOs, even the ones who have completed their time on the registry, is getting ever worse.. I fear that most Americans are too stupid to realize the difference between a Rapist/Child Molestor and other sex offenses, and will soon enough want to put them ALL in interrment camps, or the infamous "AIDS island" suggestion, but instead for Sex Offenders. The fact is that general public cannot be bothered to put any thought into things before harrassing or attacking those they perceive as "all just as dangerous" .. until it happens to someone in their family, then its a different story. (Personal experience, it does open the eyes..) The other thing that really bothers me is Judges and prosecutors have the discretion to keep the most dangerous criminals in jail, throw the book at them, etc.... does anyone out there realize this? That would likely mean most of the worst that have been proven to be so, are likely still in prison... Not that the gen public cares, since they believe all are "the same".

Posted by: tbucket | Jul 18, 2010 9:31:40 PM

i know tb! the govt's own numbers have shown for year after year after year! for over 15 years that 80-95% of all sex crimes are NEW FIRST TIME OFFENCES that in fact 80-95% of those on the illegal megan's law registrys NEVER comit another crime.

which basicly means the politicians and media lie everytime they open their mouths about sex offenders. The entire registry scheme is BASED ON A LIE. That lie being 100% of sex offenders reoffend and They can't be treated. Pity their own figures show them FOR THE LIAR'S THEY ARE! of couse since they have sworn an oath to upholde the constituiton at least the politicians have this makes the TRAITORS! in wartime since i've not heard anthing about psycho's bush's global war declaration being withdrawn.

Posted by: rodsmith | Jul 19, 2010 3:00:29 AM

tbucket --

Of course sellers view lower prices as bad news. But buyers see the opposite, and the market sees more entrants.

As to illicit and corrupt lawmakers: The answer is at hand. We have an election coming up in three and a half months. We can throw out a third of the Senate and the entire House. Believe me, I can't wait.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jul 19, 2010 4:43:37 AM

rodsmith --

"i've not heard anthing about psycho's bush's global war declaration being withdrawn."

I've not heard anything about psycho Osama's jihad against the West being cancelled.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jul 19, 2010 4:46:54 AM

"I've not heard anything about psycho Osama's jihad against the West being cancelled."

Who cares! they have been fighting that war for 100's of years since europe got it's act together and ran them out of southern europe back into the deserts of africa. Whopee.

All they can do is scream for the idiots in the media who are dumb enough to run the camers. First time they come out of the shadows and actualy do something they will be blasted back into the stone age like the ones in afghantstan.

Now if we would just stop being nice and use REAL NUKES on them and be done with it once a host country is identified.

NONE of which has anything to do with the fact that the criminals who are now running this country are lieing everytime they open their mouths and the sheeple in this country simply eat it up and move on.

Posted by: rodsmith | Jul 19, 2010 1:19:39 PM

Let's look at this frankly.
It worked for Hitler to point out a monster as a distraction, (Look over there, it's a TRAITOR!)
It worked for Bush, (Look over there, it's a terrorist!)
It is a reoccurring action/distraction. If they want to tiptoe around the constitution they paint a scary picture of a monster and then unveil the solution, we have to give up some of our or someone elses rights for their solution to work. When it doesn't work, VOILA a whole new solution, and more rights disarmed. Labeling individuals has never been the act of a democratic or remotely free society.

Posted by: Rich | Jul 20, 2010 11:09:04 PM

i know. pity most people are too self-centered or just too stupid to learn from history. If the people who created this country showed up today they would be diging up rifles and heading for washington to use the trees around the govt building for their REAL purpose....hanging.

Posted by: rodsmith | Jul 22, 2010 11:37:57 PM

Did you know that treatment for former offenders has been proven effective and that most sex offenders never commit another crime? Did you also know that making it more difficult for former offender to reintegrate into society increases recidivism?

Would you like more *FACTS* ? If so, look at this website and please sign our petition:

CanadiansForAJustSociety [dot] webs [dot] com

Posted by: Steven Yoon | Aug 17, 2010 12:43:40 PM

Blaming the housing bubbles on offenders is a bit far fetched but the figures are not surprising at all. Of course people will check out sites like Megan's Law to find out if sex offenders live nearby before investing in a new home. I have also seen a few offenders living in very ritzy multi million dollar areas and that didn't seem to have an effect but the majority appear to live in more low-rent areas.

Posted by: New Homes San Diego | Apr 4, 2011 4:43:50 PM

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