HouSI: A heuristic for the delimitation of housing submarkets and price homogeneous areas

Computers, Environment and Urban Systems (FORTHCOMING) (2012) ,Volume 0 ,Pages 0

Abstract

This paper seeks to address the problem of the empirical identification of housing market segmentation, once we assume that submarkets exist. The typical difficulty in identifying housing submarkets when dealing with many locations is the vast number of potential solutions and, in such cases, the use of the Chow test for hedonic functions is not a practical solution. Here, we solve this problem by undertaking an identification process with a heuristic for spatially constrained clustering, the "Housing Submarket Identifier" (HouSI). The solution is applied to the housing market in the city of Barcelona (Spain), where we estimate a hedonic model for fifty thousand dwellings aggregated into ten groups. In order to determine the utility of the procedure we seek to verify whether the final solution provided by the heuristic is comparable with the division of the city into ten administrative districts.

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