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The benefits of living or working in one place rather than another are often partially offset by the costs of locating in 'advantaged' places. Land and real estate markets are where these costs are worked out –  and where policy may play important influencing roles.  

Housing costs and price volatility differ considerably across the UK but little is known about the extent to which housing supply constraints – both physical limits and regulation – contribute to these differences. We are exploring these issues from a number of angles, including linking measures of planning restrictiveness to house prices; estimating a 'regulatory tax'; and using satellite imagery to look at connections between the physical landscape, economic variables and house prices.

Another important area for research is the economic impact of land use planning, particularly for 'land-hungry' sectors such as manufacturing and retail. Planning rules such as town centre first aim to raise levels of economic activity in town centres, reduce travel and energy costs, and help poorer people without cars. But they may also depress retail productivity growth, reduce competition and raise prices – thus potentially raising travel and energy costs, as well as hurting household incomes.

SERC is estimating the impact on retail location and the costs of space planning policies have had and the resulting productivity effects. Working with the Grantham Institute, we are also investigating whether town centre first policies reduce the overall carbon footprint of retail – using rich new datasets on shopping patterns, gas emissions and store energy use.

Discussion papers

Listed most recent first

Regulating Housing Vacancies Away? The Paradoxical Effects of Mismatch
Paul Cheshire, Christian A. L. Hilber, Hans R. A. Koster, July 2015
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0181

The Vertical City: The Price of Land and the Height of Buildings in Chicago 1870-2010
Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt, Daniel P. McMillen, July 2015
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0180

Distinctively Different: A New Approach to Valuing Architectural Amenities
Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt, Nancy Holman, February 2015
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0171

The Time Value of Housing: Historical Evidence from London Residential Leases
Philippe Bracke, Ted Pinchbeck, James Wyatt, December 2014
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0168

Local Economic Conditions and the Nature of New Housing Supply
Christian A. L. Hilber, Jan Rouwendal, Wouter Vermeulen, August 2014
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0164

Asymptotic Properties of Imputed Hedonic Price Indices
Olivier Schöni, October 2014
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0166

First-Come First-Served: Identifying the Demand Effect of Immigration Inflows on House Prices
Rosa Sanchis-Guarner, May 2014
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0160 | Abstract

Gone with the Wind: Valuing the Visual Impacts of Wind Turbines through House Prices
Stephen Gibbons, April 2014
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0159 | Abstract

Iconic Design' as Deadweight Loss: Rent Acquisition by Design in the Constrained London Office Market
Paul Cheshire, Gerard Dericks, January 2014
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0154 | Abstract

No Escape? The Co-ordination Problem in Heritage Preservation
Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt, Nancy Holman, October 2013
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0145 | Abstract

Game of Zones: The Economics of Conservation Areas
Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt, Kristoffer Moeller, Sevrin Waights, Nicolai Wendland, September 2013
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0143 | Abstract

Long Distance Moves Discourage Homeownership? Evidence from England
Sejeong Ha, Christian A. L. Hilber, September 2013
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0141 | Abstract

Land Use Regulation and Productivity - Land Matters: Evidence from a UK Supermarket Chain
Paul Cheshire, Christian A. L. Hilber, Ioannis Kaplanis, August 2013
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0138 | Abstract

House Prices and Rents: Micro Evidence from a Matched Dataset in Central London
Philippe Bracke, February 2013
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0127

Rocketing RentsThe magnitude and attenuation of agglomeration economies in the commercial property market
Hans R. A. Koster, January 2013
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0125

The Impact of Supply Constraints on House Prices in England
Christian A. L. Hilber, Wouter Vermeulen, September 2012
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0119

Does Public Investment Spur the Land Market?: Evidence from Transport Improvement in Beijing
Wenjie Wu, July 2012
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0116

The Effect of the UK Stamp Duty Land Tax on Household Mobility
Christian A. L. Hilber and Teemu Lyytikäinen, July 2012
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0115

Do Homeowners Benefit Urban Neighborhoods? Evidence from Housing Prices
Mika Kortelainen, Tuukka Saarimaa, May 2012
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0110

Homeownership and Entrepreneurship
Philippe Bracke, Christian Hilber, Olmo Silva, April 2012
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0103

A Note on the Value of Foregone Open Space in Sprawling Cities
Wouter Vermeulen and Jan Rouwendal, February 2012
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0101

External Benefits of Brownfield Redevelopment: An Applied Urban General Equilibrium Analysis
Niels Vermeer, Wouter Vermeulen, January 2012
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0099

Agglomeration Externalities and Urban Growth Controls
Wouter Vermeulen, October 2011
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0093

The Economic Implications of House Price Capitalization. A Survey of an Emerging Literature
Christian A. L. Hilber, October 2011
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0091

Form or Function? The Impact of New Football Stadia on Property Prices in London
Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt and Georgios Kavetsos, July 2011
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0087

Is the Sky the Limit? An Analysis of High-Rise Office Buildings
Hans R. A. Koster, Jos N. van Ommeren, Piet Rietveld, July 2011
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0086

A Spatial Analysis of Airport Effects
Gabriel M Ahlfeldt, Wolfgang Maennig, July 2011
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0085

Valuing Iconic Design: Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture in Oak Park, Illinois
Gabriel M Ahlfeldt, Alexandra Mastro, July 2011
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0084

Evaluating the Effects of Planning Policies on the Retail Sector: Or do Town Centre First Policies Deliver the Goods?
Paul Cheshire, Christian A. L. Hilber, Ioannis Kaplanis, January 2011
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0066

Modelling and Forecasting UK Mortgage Arrears and Possessions
Janine Aron, John Muellbauer, August 201
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0052

Housing Markets and the Financial Crisis of 2007-2009: Lessons for the Future
John V. Duca, John Muellbauer, Anthony Murphy, April 2010
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0049

Predicting the Geography of House Prices
Bernard Fingleton, February 2010
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0045

New Housing Supply and the Dilution of Social Capital
Christian A. L. Hilber, January 2010
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0042

On the Origins of Land Use Regulations: Theory and Evidence from US Metro Areas
Christian A. L. Hilber, Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, January 2010
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0038