Neighborhood Characteristics and Housing Values within the San Juan, MSA, Puerto Rico

By Diaz-Garayua, Jose R. | Southeastern Geographer, Winter 2009 | Go to article overview

Neighborhood Characteristics and Housing Values within the San Juan, MSA, Puerto Rico


Diaz-Garayua, Jose R., Southeastern Geographer


This research uses traditional ordinary least square (OLS) global regression and a form of local regression, Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR), to examine the influence of neighborhood characteristics on housing values within the San Juan, Puerto Rico MSA and discusses the importance and outcomes of neighborhood effects on housing values. In addition, it disaggregates the influence of the presence of national groups, such us Cubans and Dominicans, instead of grouping them into the monolithic group of "Hispanics." It has been common practice in the literature to aggregate very diverse nationalities such as Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans into a single monolithic group labeled "Hispanics." The use of GWR helps to identify neighborhood effects because it incorporates local spatial relationships (or exceptions) about neighborhood characteristics and housing values that occur across the study area highlighting the importance of context.

Este estudio utiliza el metodo tradicional de regresion global de minimos cuadrados ordinarios (OLS) y una forma de regresion local, Regresion Ponderada Geograficamente (GWR), para examinar la influencia de las caracteristicas del vecindario en los valores de las cusas a traves de San Juan, Puerto Rico MSA y discute la importancia y resultudos de los efectos del vecindario en los valores de las casas. Ademas, desagrupa la influencia de la presencia de grupos nacionales, tales como cubanos y dominicanos, en vez de agruparlos en el grupo monolitico de "Hispanos" Ha sido una practica comun en la literatura el agrupar a nacionalidades bustante diversas, tales como mexicanos, cubanas, puertorriquenos y dominicanos en un simple grupo monolitico etiquetudo "Hispanos". El uso de GWR ayuda a identificar los efectas del vecindario porque incorpora relaciones geograficas locales (o las excepciones) de las caracteristicas del vecindario y de los valores de las Casus que ocurren a traves del area de estudio destacando la importancia del contexto.

KEY WORDS: Puerto Rico, housing values, urban geography

INTRODUCTION

Location is one, if not the most important, components in the selection of a housing unit. One of the peculiarities of housing, unlike most other consumer goods, is its permanent location in a neighborhood. A housing unit, with few exceptions, cannot be moved to another area. Therefore, housing is subject to variations across space in terms of income, education, ethnic and national composition. These characteristics help to delineate a housing submarket that is defined by similar demographic characteristics and price range. Housing submarkets are interdependent with each other. Consequently, each submarket affects and is affected by other nearby submarkets (Thrall 2002).

The importance of a spatial approach to housing values is evident. However, in comparison to the whole body of literature on housing, few researchers stress the importance of a spatial approach in housing values research. This paper addresses this lack of a spatial perspective in housing research by exploring whether or not the spatial distribution of housing values is even across the San Juan, MSA, Puerto Rico. More specifically, I am interested in exploring whether or not differences in national and racial composition might affect the housing values within the San Juan, MSA. While the influence of race and national group dynamics on the housing market has not been explored in Puerto Rico and has not been extensively explored in Latin America we can find many studies published in the U.S. that have found statistical evidence about this relationship (King and Mieszkowski 1973; Daniels 1975; Follain and Malpezzi 1981 Kiel and Zabel 1996; Harris 1999; MacPherson and Sirmans 2001).

In order to explore the influence of race and national group dynamics in Puerto Rico, a multivariate regression is used to provide a global predictive model and GWR is used to explore the possibility of variation across space due to the influence of neighborhood characteristics on housing values within the San Juan, MSA. …

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