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Location, Location, Location: Extracting Location Value from House Prices


  • Jens Kolbe
  • Rainer Schulz
  • Martin Wersing
  • Axel Werwatz


The price for a single-family house depends both on the characteristics of the building and on its location. We propose a novel semiparametric method to extract location values from house prices. After splitting house prices into building and land components, location values are estimated with adaptive weight smoothing. The adaptive estimator requires neither strong smoothness assumptions nor local symmetry. We apply the method to house transactions from Berlin, Germany. The estimated surface of location values is highly correlated with expert-based land values and location ratings. The semiparametric method can therefore be used for applications where no other location value information exists or where this information is not reliable.

Suggested Citation

  • Jens Kolbe & Rainer Schulz & Martin Wersing & Axel Werwatz, 2012. "Location, Location, Location: Extracting Location Value from House Prices," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1216, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1216

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Pierre-Daniel Sarte & Raymond Owens, 2010. "Housing Externalities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(3), pages 485-535, June.
    2. Schulz, Rainer & Werwatz, Axel, 2011. "Is there an equilibrating relationship between house prices and replacement cost? Empirical evidence from Berlin," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 288-302, May.
    3. Anglin, Paul M & Gencay, Ramazan, 1996. "Semiparametric Estimation of a Hedonic Price Function," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 633-648, Nov.-Dec..
    4. Yatchew, A., 1997. "An elementary estimator of the partial linear model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 135-143, December.
    5. Bourassa, Steven C. & Hoesli, Martin & Scognamiglio, Donato & Zhang, Sumei, 2011. "Land leverage and house prices," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 134-144, March.
    6. Cheshire, Paul & Sheppard, Stephen, 1995. "On the Price of Land and the Value of Amenities," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(246), pages 247-267, May.
    7. John M. Clapp, 2004. "A Semiparametric Method for Estimating Local House Price Indices," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 32(1), pages 127-160, March.
    8. J. Polzehl & V. G. Spokoiny, 2000. "Adaptive weights smoothing with applications to image restoration," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 62(2), pages 335-354.
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    Cited by:

    1. Henry Wüstemann & Gero Coppel & Marco Masin, 2015. "Landnutzung und ländlicher Tourismus: Eine hedonische Analyse," Journal of Socio-Economics in Agriculture (Until 2015: Yearbook of Socioeconomics in Agriculture), Swiss Society for Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, vol. 8(1), pages 48-59.
    2. Jens Kolbe & Henry Wüstemann, 2015. "Estimating the Value of Urban Green Space: A hedonic Pricing Analysis of the Housing Market in Cologne, Germany," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2015-002, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    3. Fuess, Roland & Koller, Jan A., 2017. "Best Land Use with Negative Externalities: Determining Land Values from Residential Rents," Working Papers on Finance 1705, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.

    More about this item


    Location value; adaptive weight smoothing; spatial modeling;

    JEL classification:

    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General

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