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Preserving history or restricting development? The heterogeneous effects of historic districts on local housing markets in New York City

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  • Been, Vicki
  • Ellen, Ingrid Gould
  • Gedal, Michael
  • Glaeser, Edward
  • McCabe, Brian J.

Abstract

Since Brooklyn Heights was designated as New York City's first landmarked neighborhood in 1965, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has designated 120 historic neighborhoods in the city. This paper develops a theory in which landmarking has heterogeneous impacts across neighborhoods and exploits variation in the timing of historic district designations in New York City to identify the effects of preservation policies on residential property markets. We combine data on residential transactions during the 35-year period between 1974 and 2009 with data from the Landmarks Preservation Commission on the location of the city's historic districts and the timing of the designations. Consistent with theory, properties just outside the boundaries of districts increase in value after designation. Further, designation raises property values within historic districts, but only outside of Manhattan. As predicted, impacts are more positive in areas where the value of the option to build unrestricted is lower. Impacts also appear to be more positive in districts that are more aesthetically appealing.

Suggested Citation

  • Been, Vicki & Ellen, Ingrid Gould & Gedal, Michael & Glaeser, Edward & McCabe, Brian J., 2016. "Preserving history or restricting development? The heterogeneous effects of historic districts on local housing markets in New York City," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 16-30.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:92:y:2016:i:c:p:16-30
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2015.12.002
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    Blog mentions

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    Cited by:

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    2. Dericks, Gerard & Koster, Hans R. A., 2018. "The billion pound drop: the blitz and agglomeration economics in London," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 88694, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Tetsuharu Oba & Douglas Simpson Noonan, 2020. "The Price of Preserving Neighborhoods: The Unequal Impacts of Historic District Designation," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 34(4), pages 343-355, November.
    4. Joseph Gyourko & Jonathan Hartley & Jacob Krimmel, 2019. "The Local Residential Land Use Regulatory Environment Across U.S. Housing Markets: Evidence from a New Wharton Index," NBER Working Papers 26573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Sevrin Waights, 2019. "The preservation of historic districts—is it worth it?," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 433-464.
    6. Yang Wang & Kangmin Wu & Jing Qin & Changjian Wang & Hong’ou Zhang, 2020. "Examining Spatial Heterogeneity Effects of Landscape and Environment on the Residential Location Choice of the Highly Educated Population in Guangzhou, China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(9), pages 1-20, May.
    7. Bade, David & Castillo, Jose Gabriel & Fernandez, Mario Andres & Aguilar-Bohorquez, Joseph, 2020. "The price premium of heritage in the housing market: evidence from Auckland, New Zealand," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 99(C).
    8. Rolheiser, Lyndsey & van Dijk, Dorinth & van de Minne, Alex, 2020. "Housing vintage and price dynamics," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    9. Zhou, Yang, 2021. "The political economy of historic districts: The private, the public, and the collective," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C).
    10. Tetsuharu Oba & Douglas Simpson Noonan, 2017. "The many dimensions of historic preservation value: national and local designation, internal and external policy effects," Journal of Property Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(3), pages 211-232, July.
    11. Enwei Zhu & Stanislav Sobolevsky, 2018. "House Price Modeling with Digital Census," Papers 1809.03834, arXiv.org.
    12. Nikhil Naik & Ramesh Raskar & César A. Hidalgo, 2016. "Cities Are Physical Too: Using Computer Vision to Measure the Quality and Impact of Urban Appearance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 128-132, May.
    13. Edward L. Glaeser, 2020. "Urbanization and Its Discontents," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 191-218, April.
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    15. Song Zhang & Mark van Duijn & Arno J. van der Vlist, 2020. "The external effects of inner‐city shopping centers: Evidence from the Netherlands," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 583-611, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Historic districts; Housing; Option value;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • R30 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - General
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy
    • R52 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Land Use and Other Regulations
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare

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