Accessibility and house pricing

The Urban Engine has been at the core of an empirical study of accessibility measures in house pricing models for the University of Amsterdam.

House pricing models measure the relationship between a houses price and it’s characteristics. Buyers are willing to pay more for a house in Utrecht than they are for the same house in Coevorden. Large houses are worth more than small houses and buyers are willing to pay more for houses with a south-facing garden.

It seems reasonable to assume that accessibility relates to the price of a house as well. How does one define accessibility though? And are people indeed willing to pay more for a house when its accessibility increases?

In this study accessibility is measured by the number of jobs that can be reached from the postal code the house is located in. Three accessibility measured are defined:

  • Local: the number of jobs in the same postal code.
  • Within 30: the number of jobs that can be reached within 30 minutes.
  • Weighted: jobs are weighted by the travel time.

To determine the number of jobs that can be reached from the houses postal code (within 30 minutes and in general), the Urban Engine provided travel times from each postcode to every other postal code in The Netherlands.

Ultimately, the study showed that accessibility of a region is indeed related to house prices in that region and that the weighted accessibility measure provided most predictive strength.