9-line access access management access point accessibility ADA air quality alignment amenity antiplanner atlanta BART BID bike Blogs boston branded bus branded buses brookings brt bus Bus Rapid Transit BYU capacity car pool cars central link Centrality certification commuter rail condo congestion congestion pricing connections consistency coverage crossings CRT cycling DART dedicated dedicated right of way density denver depreciation developers development economics efficiency Envision Utah equity eugene exclusive extension FAQ favela Federal Funding Flex Bus florida free fare zone freeways Frequent Transit Network frontrunner frontunner Gallivan garden cities gas prices geotagging goat Google grade-separation Granary District growth headway heavy rail hedonic High Speed Rail history housing housing affordability housing bubble housing prices HOV income infill innovative intersections intensity ITS junk science LA land use LEED legacy city light rail linear park location LRT lyft M/ART malls mapping maps metrics metro MetroRail missoula mixed mixed traffic mixed-traffic mobile mode choice Mode Share multi-family MXD neighborhood networks news NIMBY office online op-ed open letter Operations parking parking meters peak travel pedestrian environment phasing Photomorphing planning Portland property property values Provo proximity quality_transit rail railvolution rant rapid rapid transit RDA real estate redevelopment reliability research retail Ridership ridesharing right of way roadway network ROW salt lake city san diego schedule schedule span seattle separated shuttle silver line single family SLC SLC transit master plan slums smartphone snow sprawl standing stop spacing streetcar streetscape streetscaping subdivision subsidy Sugarhouse Sugarhouse Streetcar Tacoma taxi technology tenure termini time-separation TOD townhouse traffic signal tram transit transit networks transit oriented development Transit Planning transponder transportation travel time TRAX trip planning trolley tunnel uber university of utah urban design urban economics urban land UTA UTA 2 Go Trip Planner utah Utah County Utah Transit Authority vmt walking distance web welfare transit Westside Connector WFRC wheelchairs zoning

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Neighborhoods & Amenity

In abstract, a house can be understood as a bundle of characteristics that determine its value. The value of a house is not determined solely by the characteristics of the house, but also by its location. These characteristics represent sources of amenity. Two broad classes of amenity exist: Amenity of structure and amenity of location. Structural amenities are typically defined by number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, square footage, and other characteristics of the house. Amenities of location are typically characterized in terms of proximity to sources of amenity (shopping, recreation) and dis-amenity (air pollution, crime, noise). 

The importance of location is widely recognized in real-estate. All property occupies a unique location in space, and thus all real estate is unique and non-replicable. Nearby locations sharing similar characteristics often act as complements.

But there exists an additional package of amenities of location not contingent on proximity, typically characterized in terms of ‘neighborhood’. The concept is poorly defined, formally referring to a geographic area, but also referring to a less well articulated set of aspects associated with that that. Neighborhood membership is typically defined by proximity, but the boundaries of neighborhoods are rarely well defined, and may change over time.  

Neighborhoods are important because geographic proximity implies more frequent interaction. Whether interaction represents an opportunity or threat depends on the compatibility of residents. Does not imply social conformity, but rather social compatible—norms about the use of space, social presentation, privacy, and behavior do not conflict. Desirable neighborhoods are characterized by compatible socio-demographic groups. ‘Areas in transition’ represent shifts in the socio-demographic characteristics of a neighborhood, as different groups move and in and out.

Houses in a similar neighborhood already share amenities of proximity and amenities of neighborhood, so that neighborhoods with houses with similar amenities of structure also show highly uniform prices. This affects housing affordability, and results in a strong association in socio-economic status with neighborhood.