Town Planning Review

Counter-urbanisation, planning and house prices: an analysis of the Aberdeen Housing Market Area, 1984-2010

Town Planning Review (2013), 84, (1), 81–105.

Abstract

Counter-urbanisation has been a continuing trend within the UK since the 1970s. This presents challenges for both urban and rural planners. The paper considers potential interdependences between spatial housing submarkets associated with counter-urbanisation, and highlights the economic factors which will influence the pattern of price effects across the market system. Empirical analysis focuses on the Aberdeen housing market area, split to distinguish between the city centre, suburb and accessible rural areas where the latter are within commuting distance of the city. A vector error correction model is used to identify the long-run interdependencies between each submarket. We find evidence of spatial price transmission between housing submarkets consistent with a direct city to rural rather than cascading counter-urbanisation process. The prices in the suburb area are found to adjust most rapidly should prices diverge from the long-run equilibrium. The results confirm the importance of planning frameworks which transcend rural-urban and, in this case, local authority boundaries. In the light of the findings, the paper considers the role of planning in mediating market impacts associated with counter-urbanisation.

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Author details

Liu, Nan

Roberts, Deborah