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A street by any other name could raise home value

What's in a name? Plenty, when you're talking about the byway on which your house is located.

According to Trulia, an online real estate community, houses on "boulevards" are the most expensive, selling for 36 percent more than homes located on "streets." Houses with "boulevard" in the address are listed for sale at $117 per square foot, whereas houses with "street" in the address are going for a mere $86 per square foot — the least of a dozen address designations.

To come up with these numbers, the Trulia trends team analyzed houses in its own database. Specifically, the team looked at the median price per square foot and limited the results to those address designations with at least 10,000 homes for sale.

Why is "boulevard" the most expensive? Trulia says the word itself might have more to do with it than anything. After all, it does have something of a sophisticated French origin.

Another factor, perhaps, is the mix of housing located on boulevards. Some 37 percent of the boulevard units were in multiunit apartment and condominium buildings, suggesting denser, urban settings where space is at a premium and housing costs are higher. By contrast, no more than 16 percent of the homes on the other paved paths were in multifamily buildings.

"Boulevard" also is an exclusive address. Only 2 percent of the Trulia listings were on pathways called boulevards.

Houses on "streets" accounted for 19 percent of the listings, but "street" wasn't the most prevalent. That honor belongs to "drive," which accounted for 22 percent of the listings. Houses on drives and on avenues were listed at $96 per square foot. "Avenue" houses were 15 percent of the listings, one point below dwellings on "roads," which were selling at $109 per square foot.

A breakdown of pathways, prices

Here's the complete breakdown for all 12 address designations:

Boulevard, 2 percent of the homes for sale on Trulia and $117 per square foot.

Place, 2 percent and $110 a square foot.

Road, 16 percent and $109.

Way, 3 percent and $107.

Terrace, 1 percent and $102.

Court, 6 percent and $101.

Lane, 8 percent and $101.

Circle, 3 percent and $100.

Trail, 1 percent and $97.

Avenue, 15 percent and $96.

Drive, 22 percent and $96.

Street, 19 percent and $86.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun