Sex offenders appear to settle into neighborhoods in “clusters,” and when they do, that can have an affect on home prices, according to researchers at Longwood University who studied data from nearly 20,000 real estate listings in central Virginia between 1999 and 2009.

The study found that one registered sex offender in a neighborhood can have a negative effect on home prices. The effect of two or three nearby sex offenders was not significantly more pronounced.

But a cluster of four or more sex offenders within a quarter-mile “substantially increases a house’s time on the market — by as much as 147 percent — putting added downward pressure on home prices,” Longwood University said in announcing the publication of the study.

Sex offenders are often prohibited from living near schools, day care centers and parks, so some neighborhoods are creating small “pocket parks,” or fighting school closings to prevent clustering,  said one of the study’s authors, economics professor Ray Brastow. Source:

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