Residents know exactly what their neighbourhood is like. House-hunters, on the other hand, must find out for themselves about the intangible social quality of a neighbourhood. As a simple rule of thumb, neighbourhood reputation can offer them an assessment of neighbourhood quality. In this research, regression analyses are applied to test whether neighbourhood reputations are being used as a proxy measure for neighbourhood quality in residential mobility choices and establishing the price of homes. The empirical results go beyond answering this research question. What price, for instance, do residents place on liveability? Why does urban restructuring so often fail to change the social make-up of an area, despite a marked increase in owner-occupation? Why does gentrification appear to emerge spontaneously, while deliberate attempts to gentrify an area often fail? How does a neighbourhood acquire that ‘golden edge’? This book also provides the answers to the above policy-oriented questions.
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