The correlation makes the rule. Like any stand-in for blight and crime, the more graffiti there is in a district, the lower its property values will be.
And once written graffiti becomes the charge of victims to abate. To add insult to injury. Property owners with rollers to walls, building faces, fences. Spot cleaning performed so randomly as to leave tags up for years.
Better to abate graffiti at scale. To deprive it of its medium wholesale.
Introducing the house flippers. The real estate market’s cleaning crews.
Begin with one home in a run-down district, underwater or fixer-upper. Replace hardwood floors, add marble counters. Landscape a lawn with flowers. Any renovation to raise the rent or listing price will do.
Flip one more. And then another. Each by each the price improves. Increasing the purchase of all values, as into each more moneyed occupants move.
Whose incomes make the district over. Demanding services that bring businesses to once derelict stores and warehouses. Diminishing the surfaces vandals can freely use.
Signaling to developers that they can enter too. Erecting walls, faces, fences, in consistent, muted hues.
Now. Broken windows or gentrification? The converse of the correlation.