Real estate market and urban transformations: spatio-temporal analysis of house price increase in the centre of Marseille (1996-2010) | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
November 2012
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Over more than ten years, France has experienced a twofold increase of residential housing prices. This was largely fuelled by the credit conditions and a general fear of the future. A strong negative correlation between initial price level and its increase leads to a massive trend of spatial homogenization of the prices. Such a tendency is fairly vigorous in the metropolitan area of Marseille, and particularly in its extremely poor and long devaluated centre, where prices have risen by over 200% since the mid-1990s. This real estate market evolution is emblematic of Neil Smith’s rent gap hypothesis. Yet, a detailed survey of spatial differentials of price increase shows that contiguous central neighbourhoods with similar price levels before the recent tremendous upsurge are affected by appreciably different price rises. Therefore, this unequal price evolution cannot be understood without a clearer analysis on the ‘potential land value’ than provided by Smith’s model. In the context of such housing price increase and uncertainty, prices transmit noisy signals to investors. Thus, State involvement, as in one of the most important operations of urban redevelopment nationwide (Euroméditerranée), appears as a guarantee for investors and also accounts for the spatial differentials of price growth rates.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Guilhem Boulay

Articulo – Journal of Urban Research logo

Articulo – Journal of Urban Research is a peer-reviewed online journal devoted to the exploration of urban issues through the lens of a wide range of social science approaches. The Journal embraces a multidisciplinary perspective on the transformation of social, environmental and economic issues of cities and city regions. Publishing both theoretical and empirical articles, the Journal is an international forum that brings together academics and practitioners working on urban issues in cities around the world to present ground breaking and relevant research.

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