Spatial Variation in Housing Prices: Econometric Analyses of Regional Housing Markets
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This thesis consists of six empirically-based papers. Collectively, the papers contribute to the understanding of the spatial variation in housing prices within regional housing markets. The main ambitions have been to identify what contributes significantly to explain the spatial variation in housing prices within such markets, and to account for this variation in econometric models. The thesis focuses primarily on macroscopical and general spatial structural characteristics, rather than on characteristics relevant for a specific region or a specific neighborhood. A summary of the theory underlying hedonic models and a review of the relevant literature are included, in addition to a chapter on various estimators from the spatial econometrics literature. According to the thesis there are two main global factors contributing significantly to explain the intraregional spatial variation in housing prices. These are the urban attraction effect measured by distance from the central business district (cbd), and labor market accessibility. The gravity-based labor market accessibility measure used in the thesis represents a useful approximation towards being able to study how changes in accessibility may manifest themselves and exert a spillover effect on housing prices throughout a region. Relevant kinds of experiments are performed in the thesis. As an example, these experiments show that an increase in the number of jobs in an urban area only marginally influences the spatial distribution of house prices. The impact on local housing prices is predicted to be considerably larger if the job growth is concentrated to the peripheral zones. The decentralization of jobs is hence found to contribute towards levelling out the differences in housing prices between the urban and peripheral zones. Even though the two globally-defined measures of spatial structure characteristics explain a major part of the spatial variation in housing prices, we also find that some locally-defined measures are relevant. The existence of subcenters, for instance, contributes significantly towards explaining spatial variation in housing prices. A model that includes both the urban attraction effect and labor market accessibility is shown to be useful for predictive purposes, particularly in relation to changes in the spatial distribution of jobs. In cases where one does not have detailed information on the spatial distribution of jobs, the cbd gradient captures both the urban attraction and the labor market accessibility effect. As an example, such a parsimonious model-formulation is demonstrated to offer reliable predictions of the variation in housing prices between a centre and the periphery. This conclusion might, however, be changed in a more polycentric area than the one studied here.
Paper 1: Norsk Økonomisk Tidsskrift 115(1), Osland, Liv, The Hedonic Method and Estimating Attribute Prices, pp. 1-22. Copyright 2001 Sosialøkonomenes forening. Full text not available in BORA due to publisher restrictions. Published version not available online. Publisher webpage: http://www.samfunnsokonomene.no/forside.phpPaper 2: Journal of Real Estate Research 29(3), Osland, Liv, Thorsen, I. & Jens Petter Gitlesen, Housing Price Gradients in a Region with One Dominating Center, pp. 321-346. Copyright 2007 The American Real Estate Society. Full text not available in BORA due to publisher restrictions. The published version is available at: http://business.fullerton.edu/finance/Journal/papers/abstract/past/av29n03/vol29n03_05.htmPaper 3: Environment and Planning A 40(10), Osland, Liv & Inge Thorsen, Effects on Housing Prices of Urban Attraction and Labor Market Accessibility, pp. 2490 – 2509. Copyright 2008 Pion Ltd. Full text not available in BORA due to publisher restrictions. The published version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1068/a39305Paper 4: Osland, Liv & Inge Thorsen, Testing for the Impact of Local Spatial Structure Characteristics on House Prices. Working Papers in Economics 15/2007. Copyright 2007 Osland, Liv & Inge Thorsen. Published by Departement of Economics, University of Bergen. The published version is available at: http://www.uib.no/econ/en/research/publications/working-papers-in-economicsPaper 5: Osland, Liv & Inge Thorsen, Predicting Housing Prices at Alternative Locations and in Alternative Scenarios of the Spatial Job Distribution. Working Papers in Economics 16/2007. Copyright 2007 Osland, Liv & Inge Thorsen. Published by Departement of Economics, University of Bergen. The published version is available at: http://www.uib.no/econ/en/research/publications/working-papers-in-economicsPaper 6: Journal of Real Estate Research (Forthcoming), Osland, Liv, An Application of Spatial Econometrics in Relation to Hedonic House Price Modelling. Copyright 2007 The American Real Estate Society. Full text not available in BORA due to publisher restrictions. The published version is available at: <a href =" http://aux.zicklin.baruch.cuny.edu/jrer/papers/abstract/forth/accepted/JRER_127(080204R3).htm" target="blank"> http://aux.zicklin.baruch.cuny.edu/jrer/papers/abstract/forth/accepted/JRER_127(080204R3).htm