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Distinctively different: A new approach to valuing architectural amenities

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  • Gabriel Ahlfeldt
  • Nancy Holman

Abstract

We propose a method to estimate the capitalized value of the architectural design quality of a neighbourhood. Our economic design premium is identified by spatially differentiating property prices and design quality within neighbourhoods and comparing the differences across neighbourhoods. We apply our method to 47 conservation area neighbourhoods in England in which we analyse around 7900 property transactions and interview more than 500 residents. We find a capitalization effect of about 25.4% (£38.7k) associated with a one-step increase on a five-step scale ranging from not at all-distinctive to very distinctive. Our results suggest that this effect is at least partially driven by an architectural externality.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriel Ahlfeldt & Nancy Holman, 2015. "Distinctively different: A new approach to valuing architectural amenities," ERSA conference papers ersa15p61, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa15p61
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    Cited by:

    1. Hilber, Christian A.L. & Palmer, Charles & Pinchbeck, Edward W., 2019. "The energy costs of historic preservation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C).
    2. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Nitsch, Volker & Wendland, Nicolai, 2019. "Ease vs. noise: Long-run changes in the value of transport (dis)amenities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 98(C).
    3. Franco, Sofia F. & Macdonald, Jacob L., 2018. "The effects of cultural heritage on residential property values: Evidence from Lisbon, Portugal," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 35-56.
    4. Shen, Lily & Ross, Stephen, 2021. "Information value of property description: A Machine learning approach," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C).
    5. Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt & Nancy Holman, 2018. "Distinctively Different: A New Approach to Valuing Architectural Amenities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(608), pages 1-33, February.
    6. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Nitsch, Volker & Wendland, Nicolai, 2019. "Ease versus noise: long-run changes in the value of transport (dis)amenities," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 102824, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Murakami, Jin & Villani, Caterina & Talamini, Gianni, 2021. "The capital value of pedestrianization in Asia's commercial cityscape: Evidence from office towers and retail streets," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 72-86.
    8. Koster, Hans R.A. & van Ommeren, Jos & Volkhausen, Nicolas, 2021. "Short-term rentals and the housing market: Quasi-experimental evidence from Airbnb in Los Angeles," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    9. van Vuuren, Aico, 2022. "Is There a Diminishing Value of Urban Amenities as a Result of the COVID-19 Pandemic?," IZA Discussion Papers 15025, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Mathilde Poulhes, 2017. "From Latin Quarter to Montmartre Investigating Parisian Real-Estate Prices," Working Papers 2017-13, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    11. van Vuuren, Aico, 2022. "Is there a diminishing value of urban amenities as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic?," Working Papers in Economics 818, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    12. Hanlon, W.Walker & Heblich, Stephan, 2022. "History and urban economics," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C).
    13. Liao, Wen-Chi & Jing, Kecen & Lee, Chaun Ying Rachel, 2022. "Economic return of architecture awards: Testing homebuyers’ motives for paying more," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C).
    14. Garcia-López, Miquel-Àngel & Pasidis, Ilias & Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet, 2018. "Amphitheaters, cathedrals and operas: The role of historic amenities on suburbanization," CEPR Discussion Papers 13129, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Elisabetta Pietrostefani, 2022. "Urban Transformations and Complex Values: Insights From Beirut," Urban Planning, Cogitatio Press, vol. 7(1), pages 142-154.
    16. Cuberes, David & Roberts, Jennifer & Sechel, Cristina, 2019. "Household location in English cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 120-135.
    17. van Vuuren, Aico & Kjellander, Josef & Nilsson, Viktor, 2019. "Refugees and apartment prices: A case study to investigate the attitudes of home buyers," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 20-37.
    18. Rolheiser, Lyndsey & van Dijk, Dorinth & van de Minne, Alex, 2020. "Housing vintage and price dynamics," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    19. Matthew Gibson & Jamie T. Mullins & Alison Hill, 2019. "Climate Risk and Beliefs: Evidence from New York Floodplains," Department of Economics Working Papers 2019-02, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    20. 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).
    21. Lily Shen & Stephen L. Ross, 2019. "Information Value of Property Description: A Machine Learning Approach," Working papers 2019-20, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2020.
    22. Pietrostefani, Elisabetta, 2022. "Urban transformations and complex values: insights from Beirut," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 113897, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Architecture; beauty; boundary discontinuity; conservation areas; design; Englan;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R52 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Land Use and Other Regulations
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory

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