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Planning policy, housing density and consumer preferences


  • Neil Dunse
  • Sotirios Thanos
  • Glen Bramley


Due to a combination of government planning policies and market pressures in England in the period 2000--2008, there was an increase in the construction of flats and high-density developments and a decline in the construction of houses. In this paper, an analysis of the effects of these policy constraints is undertaken. Using hedonic pricing models, we test for a non-linear relationship between house prices and residential density in England. Consumers prefer houses over flats and detached properties over semi-detached and terraced (i.e. lower density suburban areas). However, both low-density, detached-dominant areas and high-density, flat-dominant areas attracted a premium over medium density areas and the relative size of these price differences vary between different housing market areas. In cities outside London, we consistently see a convex relationship between price and density, whereas a concave relationship between price and density is consistently observed in London. This suggests a different form of relationship between density and house prices in large urban conurbation areas, compared to more typical provincial cities. The conclusions we draw are that in the correct context, high density may be viewed positively but a single planning policy is not appropriate and it should be tailored to suit local market needs.

Suggested Citation

  • Neil Dunse & Sotirios Thanos & Glen Bramley, 2013. "Planning policy, housing density and consumer preferences," Journal of Property Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(3), pages 221-238, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jpropr:v:30:y:2013:i:3:p:221-238
    DOI: 10.1080/09599916.2013.795992

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    Cited by:

    1. Ilir Nase & Jim Berry & Alastair Adair, 2016. "Impact of quality-led design on real estate value: a spatiotemporal analysis of city centre apartments," Journal of Property Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 309-331, October.
    2. Thanos, Sotirios & Dubé, Jean & Legros, Diègo, 2016. "Putting time into space: the temporal coherence of spatial applications in the housing market," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 78-88.
    3. Jean Dubé & Diègo Legros & Sotirios Thanos, 2018. "Past price ‘memory’ in the housing market: testing the performance of different spatio-temporal specifications," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 118-138, January.
    4. Sotirios Thanos & Abigail L. Bristow & Mark R. Wardman, 2015. "Residential Sorting And Environmental Externalities: The Case Of Nonlinearities And Stigma In Aviation Noise Values," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 468-490, June.
    5. Jessica K. Breadsell & Joshua J. Byrne & Gregory M. Morrison, 2019. "Pre- and Post-Occupancy Evaluation of Resident Motivations for and Experiences of Establishing a Home in a Low-Carbon Development," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(14), pages 1-17, July.

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