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Do Homebuyers Care about the 'Quality' of Natural Habitats?

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  • Katz, G.
  • Colby, Bonnie G.
  • Osgood, Daniel E.
  • Bark-Hodgins, Rosalind H.
  • Stromberg, J.
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    Abstract

    We study if homebuyers in Tucson, Arizona care about the condition of natural habitats and if they have preferences between natural and manmade habitats. Using field work data we examine whether homebuyers’ willingness to pay is influenced by the biological condition of the neighboring riparian habitat and how homebuyers value alternative manmade green areas, specifically golf courses. We also explore the relationship between the field data and remote sensing vegetation indices. The results of a hedonic analysis of houses that sold within 0.2 miles of 51 stratified-random selected riparian survey sites in Tucson, Arizona reveals that homebuyers significantly value habitat quality and negatively value manmade park-like features. Homebuyers are willing to pay twenty percent more to live near a riparian corridor that is densely vegetated and contains more shrub and tree species, particularly species that are dependent on perennial water flow. These environmental premiums are significant, outweighing structural factors such as an additional garage or swimming pool. Likewise, proximity to a riparian habitat with low biological quality or to a golf course lowers property values.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/19283
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI with number 19283.

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    Date of creation: 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea05:19283

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    Keywords: Land Economics/Use;

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    1. Brent L. Mahan & BStephen Polasky & Richard M. Adams, 2000. "Valuing Urban Wetlands: A Property Price Approach," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(1), pages 100-113.
    2. Breusch, T S & Pagan, A R, 1979. "A Simple Test for Heteroscedasticity and Random Coefficient Variation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1287-94, September.
    3. Leggett, Christopher G. & Bockstael, Nancy E., 2000. "Evidence of the Effects of Water Quality on Residential Land Prices," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 121-144, March.
    4. Benson, Earl D, et al, 1998. "Pricing Residential Amenities: The Value of a View," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 55-73, January.
    5. Geoghegan, Jacqueline & Wainger, Lisa A. & Bockstael, Nancy E., 1997. "Spatial landscape indices in a hedonic framework: an ecological economics analysis using GIS," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 251-264, December.
    6. Elena G. Irwin & Nancy E. Bockstael, 2001. "The Problem of Identifying Land Use Spillovers: Measuring the Effects of Open Space on Residential Property Values," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(3), pages 698-704.
    7. Robert W. Paterson & Kevin J. Boyle, 2002. "Out of Sight, Out of Mind? Using GIS to Incorporate Visibility in Hedonic Property Value Models," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(3), pages 417-425.
    8. Sengupta, Sanchita & Osgood, Daniel Edward, 2003. "The value of remoteness: a hedonic estimation of ranchette prices," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 91-103, February.
    9. Nivens, Heather D. & Kastens, Terry L. & Dhuyvetter, Kevin C. & Featherstone, Allen M., 2002. "Using Satellite Imagery In Predicting Kansas Farmland Values," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 27(02), December.
    10. Smith, V. Kerry & Poulos, Christine & Kim, Hyun, 2002. "Treating open space as an urban amenity," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 107-129, February.
    11. Fiorenza Spalatro & Bill Provencher, 2001. "An Analysis of Minimum Frontage Zoning to Preserve Lakefront Amenities," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(4), pages 469-481.
    12. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
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