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If so, then the resulting coefficient would be reduced somewhat. However, it is assumed that proximity to water is a net positive amenity in this real estate market: people who believe otherwise are less likely to choose to live in a coastal county. The distance to a marsh feature was on average meters. A public park also can provide amenities for nearby residents. However, close proximity to a public park may yield a disamenity because of traffic congestion.
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The calculated distance from each home to the nearest park Park was included in the model. Among those with close marsh proximity, properties are affected to differing degrees according to these key features. The tax assessor data indicate which properties have a view of a marshland feature, and the variable Waterview captures this effect in the model.
Similarly, the assessor's data indicate which ones have navigable water access the Wateraccess variable and which ones have water access via a boat dock Dock. Including a measure of view in hedonic regression along with proximity or access enables one to distinguish the passive aesthetic values from other active use-oriented values associated with fishing, boating, and so forth Walls, Kousky, and Chu, Table 3 presents the coefficient estimates of three versions of the SARAR model using an inverse distance matrix truncated at meters.
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Model 1 includes all the structural attributes S h and neighborhood N h attributes. Model 2 includes variables in model 1 plus the environmental amenity E h variables. Model 3 is a full model that includes all the variables presented in Table 2 ; that is, model 3 also takes into account the accessibility to the environmental amenities that we believe influence the property prices the most. Several functional forms were compared, and the log-log functional form was found the most appropriate for this data set i.
Table 3. Standard errors in parentheses. SARAR, spatial autoregressive model with autoregressive residuals. All coefficients for the structural variables have their expected sign and are statistically significant except Beds and Brick. Housesize and Parcelsize have significant impacts on property prices. Table 4. All coefficients for neighborhood and location variables are of the expected sign and are statistically significant except the proximity to roads lnMajorroads and location in SFHA.
This result indicates that developers have an incentive to keep more common space in their design feature for greater revenue. The proximity to school significantly decreases the price of the property, which may be attributed to the level of noise from a school. An increase in the proportion of nonwhites in a community is negatively related to the property prices, whereas an increase in income is positively related to the property prices in Chatham County.
Regarding the environmental amenity variables, all of those included in the model have their expected positive sign and are statistically significant. The variables lnPark , lnMarsh , and Waterview all seem to be important factors adding value to a property. The finding that both lnCommonspace and lnMarsh are significant, positive contributors to property prices is surprising. The initial expectation was that home buyers in these real estate markets would regard these amenities as substitutes for each other because they both represent open space. However, buyers apparently view these as sufficiently dissimilar amenities.
Although proximity to the marsh is important, accessibility seems to be even more important. Properties having navigable water access Wateraccess or water access via a dock Dock are much more highly valued than those just near to the marsh. Popular wisdom in Chatham's real estate market suggests that the effect of a boat dock is much larger. However, these findings suggest that mere water access accounts for the bulk of the price difference. Overall, the results suggest that home buyers are willing to pay for more common space in their subdivisions, even in this environment where nature is already providing open space in the form of marshland features.
Whether developers have an effective market-based incentive to provide more ecofriendly designs is the subject of the next section. Simulation results for three different development scenarios are presented in Table 5. The simulations are based on the hedonic regression results from Table 3 , and they incorporate the spatial parameters. The base case from which comparisons are made is the average house in this housing market, in a neighborhood with 20 hectares, containing homes, with an average lot size of 0.
The developer can adjust the plan for the subdivision in a variety of ways, but here the focus is on three specific alternative designs. Table 5. Home prices are calculated from the spatially lagged, autoregressive error regressions. To achieve the increase in the common space, 1 hectare worth of private land is converted to a park or other common space with permeable surface. Because the size of the lots is not changed, the developer has to forgo construction on six lots. Lot size falls from 0.
This enables the number of salable lots to remain constant. Here, the increase in the common space has a positive effect on sale price, but smaller lot size has a negative effect. This finding indicates that in the Chatham County real estate market, increasing the common space and decreasing the lot size leads to higher gross revenue, ceteris paribus. Preserving open space is an important component of land use policy in rapidly urbanizing areas Lichtenberg, Hedonic studies of planned open space and natural areas have shown that the capitalization of these amenities in home prices varies greatly depending on the type of natural lands and various attributes of those lands Walls, Kousky, and Chu, However, to best of our knowledge, this is the first study of the value of planned open space, or common space, in a tidal marshland environment.
However, we find that this is not the case in Chatham County, Georgia. Home buyers value the open space set aside by a developer to a similar degree as they value marshland. When the proximity to the marsh was not included in the hedonic model, the common space was valued more. However, when the proximity to the marsh was introduced into the model, the value was spread across the marsh and the open space. Also important was the accessibility to the marsh, which was valued much more than just the proximity to the marsh.
This finding can be attributed to its potential recreational use value. Marshlands provide services that protect communities from flooding, naturally treat storm-water runoff, and allow for groundwater infiltration. Apart from these services that marshlands provide, we demonstrate that a nearby marshland also adds value to the property prices. A series of property price simulations for Chatham County indicated that real estate developers have a market incentive to incorporate more open space and smaller lot sizes in their design of residential subdivisions.
This study also shows that the trade-off between planned open space and lot sizes holds up in coastal areas where nature is already providing open space in the form of saltwater marshes, tidal rivers, and other water features. This is important because the marshland ecosystem is quite sensitive to pollution from storm-water runoff, and open space can reduce this. We conclude that although political motivations may act as a barrier, understanding and incorporating the values of environmental amenities into land use planning could reduce the negative impacts associated with urbanization.
We note that measuring this contribution to property prices would require a multimarket hedonic study because a single county-wide analysis would have insufficient variability in these services provided by marshlands. Actual travel distance over a road network is a superior alternative, although historically an expensive and labor-intensive undertaking because of which almost all hedonic studies use the Euclidean distance.
Research has shown that the actual difference between these two are relatively small and the added precision offered by the substitution of travel distance for straight-line distance is largely inconsequential Boscoe, Henry, and Zdeb, Others have used semiparametric models, but those models are difficult to interpret.
Loading article Login Alert. Log in. Aa Aa. Introduction 2. Previous Research 3. Methods 3. Study Area 3. Econometric Model 3. Data 4. Empirical Results 5. Alternative Development Scenarios 6. Summary and Conclusions.
Abstract In a coastal environment, open space can exist as land set aside by a real estate developer or as tidal marshland. Introduction In most jurisdictions of the United States, land use policy is made at the local level within the context of existing federal and state regulations. Previous Research Empirical studies of the value of open space in the United States date back to the s. Map Showing the Study Area.
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Econometric Model Since the seminal work of Rosen , numerous studies have used hedonic price models to estimate the contribution of different attributes of a property structural, neighborhood, and environmental to its value as measured by its sale price. Data Our data set combines the county tax assessor's database of 74, single-family residence parcels with other geographical information system GIS coverages and property sales data for the years to Table 2.