Counter urbanisation, planning and house prices: An analysis of the Aberdeen Housing Market Area, 1984 – 2010

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Counter urbanisation has been a continuing trend within the UK since the 1970s. This presents challenges for both urban and rural planners. The paper considers potential interdependences between spatial housing submarkets associated with counter urbanisation, and highlights the economic factors which will influence the pattern of price effects across the market system. Empirical analysis focuses on the Aberdeen housing market area, split to distinguish between the city centre, suburb and accessible rural areas where the latter are within commuting distance of the city. A Vector Error Correction model is used to identify the long run interdependencies between each submarket. We find evidence of spatial price transmission between housing submarkets consistent with a direct city to rural rather than cascading counter urbanisation process. The prices in the suburb area are found to adjust most rapidly should prices diverge from the long run equilibrium. The results confirm the importance of planning frameworks which transcend rural-urban and, in this case, Local Authority boundaries. In the light of the findings, the paper considers the role of planning in mediating market impacts associated with counter urbanisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-105
Number of pages25
JournalTown Planning Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013



  • housing submarkets
  • counter urbanisation
  • vector error correction models
  • price dynamics

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