The Trade-off between Private Lots and Public Open Space in Subdivisions at the Urban-Rural Fringe
AbstractIn many communities on the urban–rural fringe, subdivisions are subject to “clustering” rules, in which houses must be located on a portion of the total land area and the remainder of the land is left as open space. This open space may be undisturbed forest or pastureland, or it may include recreation facilities and trails. In some communities, the open space may remain in agricultural use as pasture or cropland. Although the open space may provide benefits to subdivision residents, it means that those residents are living in a higher-density setting than people living in conventional subdivisions. It is unclear whether the benefits offset the loss experienced by smaller lots and higher density. This trade-off is the focus of our study. We use data on subdivision house sales occurring between 1981 and 2001 in a county on the fringe of the Washington, DC, metropolitan area to estimate a hedonic price model. We examine how households value being adjacent to open space and having more open space in the subdivision, and how they may be willing to trade off those amenities with their own private lot space. We find that private acreage matters to households—a 10 percent larger lot leads to about a 0.6 percent higher house price, all else being equal. Subdivision open space is also valuable to households, but the marginal effect is much smaller than the marginal effect of private lot space. We also find that subdivision open space does substitute for private land, but the extent of the trade-off is small. We use the results of the estimated hedonic model to simulate the effects on prices of jointly increasing open space and reducing average lot size, holding the size of the subdivision constant. We find that average house prices are lower with clustering, particularly for interior lots that are not adjacent to open space.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-07-33.
Date of creation: 10 Jul 2007
Date of revision:
subdivisions; clustering; hedonic property values; open space;
Other versions of this item:
- Elizabeth Kopits & Virginia McConnell & Margaret Walls, 2007. "The Trade-off between Private Lots and Public Open Space in Subdivisions at the Urban-Rural Fringe," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1191-1197.
- Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
- Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
- R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
- H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2007-08-08 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2007-08-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-URE-2007-08-08 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Elena G. Irwin, 2002. "The Effects of Open Space on Residential Property Values," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(4), pages 465-480.
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- Abbott, Joshua K. & Klaiber, H. Allen, 2010. "Is all space created equal? Uncovering the relationship between competing land uses in subdivisions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 296-307, December.
- Kuminoff, Nicolai V., 2009. "Using a Bundled Amenity Model to Estimate the Value of Cropland Open Space and Determine an Optimal Buffer Zone," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 34(1), April.
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