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Access to the City Center and Housing Vacancies in the Suburbs


  • Brahim Boualam


How does access to the center of a city affect the housing vacancy rate in the suburbs? Using data on housing for French municipalities, I first document the disparities and evolution of housing vacancy rates in France. A particular attention is paid on the Paris metropolitan area, where housing vacancies are surprisingly large. Next, I develop a theoretical model which emphasizes the link between proximity to the city center and housing vacancies in suburban locations. Finally, I empirically test the predictions of the model using information on transport and housing in the Paris urban area. The findings show that proximity to the city is associated with lower vacancy rates. This result is consistent with a positive association between distance and frictions in the real estate market.

Suggested Citation

  • Brahim Boualam, 2018. "Access to the City Center and Housing Vacancies in the Suburbs," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 130, pages 39-100.
  • Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2018:i:130:p:39-100
    DOI: 10.15609/annaeconstat2009.130.0069

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    More about this item


    Housing Market; Residential Vacancy Rates; Transport Infrastructure; Spatial Frictions.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • R4 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers


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