Geographic Heterogeneity in Housing. Evidence from Spain
This article offers an empirical analysis of geographical differences in the characteristics of housing in the different provinces of Spain. The study employs multiple correspondence analysis to derive a housing index, in line with ArÈvalo (1999). While ArÈvalo used only structural variables, this research also includes proxy variables for access to services derived from the location of the living unit. A readily interpretable index is thus created, which measures the level of internal and external services that a living unit (house or apartment) provides for its occupiers. The results confirm that characteristics derived from location are complementary to structural characteristics of the living unit itself (housing services). Moreover, with the addition of location variables, the new housing index shows: (i) increased correlation with observed rental and house prices, and (ii) a more realistic view of geographical differences in the level of services of Spanish housing. The study contributes new housing indicators that are easily applicable, for example, in studies on household quality of life, social exclusion, and poverty.
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