Archive for the ‘housing and real estate’ Category

Drivers of U.S. Household Energy Consumption, 1980-2009

March 3, 2015 Comments off

Drivers of U.S. Household Energy Consumption, 1980-2009
Source: Energy Information Administration

In 2012, the residential sector accounted for 21% of total primary energy consumption and about 20% of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States (computed from EIA 2013). Because of the impacts of residential sector energy use on the environment and the economy, this study was undertaken to help provide a better understanding of the factors affecting energy consumption in this sector. The analysis is based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) residential energy consumption surveys (RECS) 1980-2009.

According to RECS, U.S. households used 10.2 quadrillion Btu (quad) of site energy in 2009. During the 1980-2009 time period, household site energy increased by 0.9 quads or 8.9%—an average annual growth of 0.3%. Over the same period, the number of households increased by 33.0% and total floor space by 52.0%. This is equivalent to an average annual growth of 1.1% and 1.8%, respectively. As a result, the aggregate energy intensity per household and per square foot declined by 24.2% and 43.1%, respectively.

The change in aggregate energy intensity was affected by other factors such as structural changes and fluctuation in weather. We applied decomposition techniques to separate the effects of these factors on aggregate energy intensity. More specifically, our decomposition identified four main categories affecting energy use: activity, structural changes, intensity, and weather effects.

House Prices, Local Demand, and Retail Prices

March 2, 2015 Comments off

House Prices, Local Demand, and Retail Prices
Source: Social Science Research Network

We use detailed micro data to document a causal response of local retail prices to changes in house prices, with elasticities of 15%-20% across housing booms and busts. We provide evidence that our results are driven by changes in markups rather than by changes in local costs. We argue that this markup variation arises when increases in housing wealth reduce households’ demand elasticity, and firms raise markups in response. Consistent with this wealth channel, price effects are larger in zip codes with many homeowners, and non-existent in zip codes with mostly renters. In addition, shopping data confirms that house price changes have opposite effects on the price sensitivity of homeowners and renters. Our evidence has implications for monetary, labor and urban economics, and suggests a new source of markup variation in business cycle models.

Preferred Office Locations: Comparing Location Preferences and Performance of Office Space in CBDs, Suburban Vibrant Centers and Suburban Areas

March 2, 2015 Comments off

Preferred Office Locations: Comparing Location Preferences and Performance of Office Space in CBDs, Suburban Vibrant Centers and Suburban Areas
Source: NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association

Where do today’s office tenants want to be located? This comprehensive study, which combines expert opinion and accurate property-level data, provides reliable information about emerging location preferences across major U.S. office markets and the comparative performance of office space in CBDs, suburban vibrant centers — defined as amenity-rich, mixed-use, “live, work, play” locations — and typical single-use suburban areas.

Overall, office tenants show no strong preference for either downtown or suburban locations. Yet the study reveals a clear preference for suburban vibrant centers over typical single-use suburban office environments, and demonstrates that office properties in suburban vibrant centers are outperforming those in typical single-use suburban office areas on almost all metrics.

2015 Silicon Valley Index

February 26, 2015 Comments off

2015 Silicon Valley Index (PDF)
Source: Joint Venture
From press release:

Silicon Valley’s economy is thriving from San Jose to San Francisco, surging to levels that are overwhelming the Bay Area’s capacity to handle it, according to the 2015 Silicon Valley Index released today by Joint Venture Silicon Valley.

The comprehensive yearly analysis of the economic strength and overall health of Silicon Valley shows the region with nearly 58,000 new jobs – the highest growth rate since 2000 – 42,000 new residents, average annual earnings of $116,000, venture capital investments higher than any other year since 2000, 17,000 new patent registrations and more than 16 million square feet of new commercial building space approved.

At the same time, the wave of prosperity continues to widen the middle-income gap and strain the region’s ability to accommodate its ever-rising housing costs, commuter rates, traffic and transit ridership.

2014 Housing Vacancy Survey Annual Statistics

February 24, 2015 Comments off

2014 Housing Vacancy Survey Annual Statistics
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

These statistics provide vacancy rates, homeownership rates and characteristics of units available for occupancy for the U.S., regions, states and the 75 largest metropolitan statistical areas. Data for all geographies are available both quarterly and annually. Homeownership rates are also tabulated by age of householder for the U.S. and regions and by race/ethnicity of householder and by family status for the U.S. In addition, estimates of the total housing inventory and percent distributions of vacant for-rent and for-sale-only units are available for the U.S. and regions.

Nine Charts about Wealth Inequality in America

February 23, 2015 Comments off

Nine Charts about Wealth Inequality in America
Source: Urban Institute

Why hasn’t wealth inequality improved over the past 50 years? And why, in particular, has the racial wealth gap not closed? These nine charts illustrate how income inequality, earnings gaps, homeownership rates, retirement savings, student loan debt, and lopsided asset-building subsidies have contributed to these growing wealth disparities.

Measuring Sprawl: A New Index, Recent Trends, and Future Research

February 18, 2015 Comments off

Measuring Sprawl: A New Index, Recent Trends, and Future Research
Source: Urban Affairs Review

Sprawl is a popular subject in the urban literature, yet conceptualization and measurement have proven elusive. Projects which focus either on empirical advances in the quantification of urban form or related phenomenon like travel behavior are rarely conversant, leading to a fundamental disconnect between operationalizing the concept and modeling its effects. Here, I build on previous work in developing a new index of sprawl and examine changes in urban morphology at the metropolitan level in the United States from 2000 to 2010. I then illustrate face validity by outlining suggestive relationships between the index and associated environmental and housing outcomes, while comparing it with other commonly used measures. I find that sprawl continues into the twenty-first century, and that this proposed measure demonstrates initial face validity with respect to key environmental and housing outcomes. I conclude with a discussion of the results and suggestions for future research.


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