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Professor Colin Jones wins RTPI Prize

Colin Jones from IHURER and Mike Coombes from Newcastle University have been awarded the Royal Town Planning Institute’s 2013 prize for excellence in academic spatial planning research for their work looking at Housing Market Areas. This research assesses the importance of tenure-specific HMAs for housing planning within the current policy frameworks aimed at meeting housing needs.Presenting+the+Award+-+FinalThe judges felt that the submission demonstrated a clarity of argument along with a clear presentation of results. It analysed the implications for housing and planning, discussing the different Housing Market Areas for each tenure. This was judged to be an excellent contribution to the technical underpinning of debates over housing delivery.

The research paper entitled An Assessment of Tenure-Specific Housing Market Areas for Housing Planning is to be published later this year in Housing Studies (DOI:10.1080/02673037.2013.783201).

The abstract is

“Planning for housing in Britain has embraced the use of housing market areas (HMAs) as appropriate geographies to address calls for greater market responsiveness. Tenure is a crucial dimension of the housing market, so it must be central to assessing local housing demands. Despite the wide cleavages between social and private rented sectors, and between both of these sectors and the owner-occupying majority, the geography of tenure-specific HMAs has remained largely unexplored. This paper assesses the importance of tenure-specific HMAs for housing planning within the current policy frameworks aimed at meeting housing needs. The paper then reports analyses to delineate tenure-specific HMAs, with these boundaries then compared with HMAs defined by analysing the whole market. The case for a national system of tenure-specific HMAs based on migration is found to be unproven. Nevertheless, such HMAs can provide the basis for meaningful affordability measures and a tool to address segregation and reshape housing markets in cities.”

Colin Jones gave a speech upon accepting the award

Colin Jones gave a speech upon accepting the award

This research represents an extension of previous research on housing market areas that developed a tiered geography of local housing market areas derived from urban economic theory. The empirical research generates sets of different potential geographies of HMAs for England based on an algorithm that applies criteria linked to the degree of closure of migration and/or commuting patterns. A range of theoretically appropriate criteria then enable the different geographies to be assessed. The choice of geography is guided by Chow tests of statistical differences in standardised house prices in neighbouring HMAs derived from hedonic regressions. This first stage of the research was published in Urban Studies (2012) and a further paper showing its application to assessing local affordability was published in the International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis (2011).

Handing+over+the+CertificateThis latest stage of the research uses the same basic approach based on migration patterns to delineate tenure-specific HMAs, with these boundaries then compared to the original HMAs defined by analysing the whole market.  The empirical evidence finds that there are only major differences in core cities and where there are concentrations of the PRS. The case for a national system of tenure specific HMAs is therefore unproven and not of relevance to areas outside cities.

Colin Jones has previously won the following prizes for his research:

You can also read more about Professor Colin Jones’ work in his previous blogs:
Recent news articles about Professor Colin Jones include:
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