Understanding the Local Impact of New Residential Development: a Pilot Study

April 2015

Understanding the Local Impact of New Residential Development_2

The objective of the project is to make a contribution to understanding the impact of new housing development on the immediately surrounding area and population. In particular the project looks to see:

  • what is the evidence about whether house prices in the surrounding area always fall;
  • whether there are patterns in price development in these areas which appear to be associated with different types of development; and
  • whether other factors affecting prices can be identified.

The initial response of many people to the possibility of new residential development nearby is that it will reduce their wellbeing, notably with respect to access to local services, their own immediate environment and simply because of the impact of increased population in the area. Partly this is about expectations–households usually expect to be able to keep their views, for example, or they may expect that more development will result in lower quality services. More generally households can be resistant to change and uncertainty concerning their neighbourhood and neighbours. Economically, residents may be worried about whether the market might respond to development by reducing the prices of existing dwellings as a result of increased supply, or whether demand might decrease as a result of the degradation of local attributes. These issues are core to the longer-term acceptability of new development.

This project aims to address these issues by looking in detail at a small number of sites to help identify the factors which determine whether development will have a positive, negative or neutral effect on the locality and therefore on house prices. Important in the shorter term is the extent of disruption generated by the development and into the longer term the impact it might have on the nature of the area and the community as well as directly on house prices.

Client: Barratt & NHBC Foundation

Authors: Christine Whitehead & Emma Sagor with Ann Edge & Bruce Walker

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