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SERC/Urban and Spatial Programme Discussion Paper

Historic Amenities, Income and Sorting of Households


We test the impact of historic amenities on house prices and sorting of households within cities. Conservation area boundaries enable us to employ a semiparametric regression-discontinuity approach to measure the impact of historic amenities. The approach allows for household-specific preferences. Conditional on neighbour attributes, the price difference at the conservation boundary is about 3 percent. Internal historic amenities are also important, as listed houses are about 6 percent more expensive. It is shown that rich households sort themselves in conservation areas and in listed buildings, because they have a higher willingness to pay for historic amenities. The results contribute to an explanation for the substantial spatial income differences within cities.


Hans R. A. Koster, Piet Rietveld and Jos Van Ommeren

7 January 2013     Paper Number SERCDP0124

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This SERC/Urban and Spatial Programme Discussion Paper is published under the centre's Urban programme.