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The many dimensions of historic preservation value: national and local designation, internal and external policy effects

Tetsuharu Oba and Douglas Noonan

Journal of Property Research, 2017, vol. 34, issue 3, 211-232

Abstract: This analysis examines the internal and external policy effects of national and local register programmes for historic preservation. Robust hedonic pricing models are crucial to informing policy proposals and understanding how property markets relate to urban heritage. Estimating a repeat-sales hedonic model with neighbourhood trends and spatial mixed models, novel to this literature, offers a marked improvement in terms of jointly identifying internal and external policy effects, comparing national and local designations, separating policy from heritage effects and estimating models robust to spatial dependence and trends in hedonic prices. Historic designation variables, while often individually insignificant in the model, are always jointly significant in explaining varying appreciation rates. Local districts exhibit no consistent price impacts across the models. Being located inside a national district confers a price premium that increases over time in the preferred model specification, while prices fall in national districts’ buffers after designation. The sensitivity of results to model specification raises questions about alternative approaches to spatial dependence in the data in the urban historic preservation context. Evidence of the influence of historic district designation on property turnover and renovation investments is also examined.

Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1080/09599916.2017.1362027

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