Many communities gripe when Walmart considers moving in, but a new report indicates homes near the stores actually rise in value when the megachain comes to town.

Researchers at the University of Chicago and Brigham Young University looked at 20 states where 159 Walmarts planted roots between 2000 and 2006, and then they compared nearby home prices roughly two years before and after each locale opened its doors.

Their findings? Homes that were within a half-mile of the stores saw their average prices rise between 2 and 3 percent on average, while homes that were between a half-mile and a mile from a Walmart got a 1 to 2 percent bump in value.

But although the researchers controlled for outside factors that could’ve led to price increases — like national housing trends — the paper they released didn’t consider overall home prices for each of the communities they studied. Also, the last year they looked at was 2006, and the housing market in general has certainly taken a hit since then.

Still, one of the researchers said, “When you see housing prices increase and a change in an environmental amenity, there is [obviously] a group of people happy with that amenity.”

[ABC News]