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Modeling Spatial Variation in Housing Prices: A Variable Interaction Approach


  • Timothy J. Fik
  • David C. Ling
  • Gordon F. Mulligan


The absolute location of each real estate parcel in an urban housing market has a unique location-value signature. Accessibility indices, distant gradients and locational dummies cannot fully account for the influence of absolute location on the market price of housing because there are an indeterminable number of externalities (local and nonlocal) influencing a given property at a given location. Furthermore, the degree to which externalities affect real estate values is not only unique at each location but highly variable over space. Hence, absolute location must be viewed as interactive with other determinants of housing value. We present an interactive variables approach and test its ability to explain price variations in an urban residential housing market. The statistical evidence suggests that the value of location, as embodied in the selling price of housing units, may not be separable from other determinants of value. It is recommended that housing valuation models, therefore, be specified to allow site, structural and other independent attributes to interact with absolute location-{x, y} coordinates-when accounting for intraurban variation in the market price of residential housing. This approach is especially useful when estimating the value of housing for geographic areas where very little is known a priori about the neighborhoods or submarkets. Copyright 2003 by the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy J. Fik & David C. Ling & Gordon F. Mulligan, 2003. "Modeling Spatial Variation in Housing Prices: A Variable Interaction Approach," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 31(4), pages 623-646, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:31:y:2003:i:4:p:623-646

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