Three essays exploring the impact of higher energy prices on housing markets
My objective in this thesis is to explore some of the primary issues and assumptions that have been considered as "given" in policy discussions and program development concerning housing and energy. I consider three housing and energy issues in a series of related essays.
The first essay concerns the effects of higher energy prices on urban development patterns. Using data from the Annual Housing Survey and other sources, I assess the potential effects of higher energy prices on housing location decisions and explore the assumption that higher energy prices will encourage a movement back to the cities. My research indicates that higher energy prices will not cause a revitalization of cities.
The second essay concerns the effects of higher energy prices on housing affordability, one of the most prominent public policy concerns today. Higher energy prices have clearly had an effect on housing affordability, and the essay explores these effects on present homeowners, first-time buyers and renters, using data from the Annual Housing Survey, the Residential Energy Consumption Survey, the National Association of Home Builders Survey of Homebuyers, and the Wisconsin SOLPLAN Alternative Energy Residential Survey that was conducted with the Energy Management and Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. My research indicates that higher energy prices have had a negative impact on selected groups, generally the same groups that have been disadvantaged from the rise in housing prices.
The third essay examines the proposed federal Building Energy Performance Standards program. Drawing on the same data sources that I used in the second essay, I assess the potential efficiency and effectiveness of this program on conserving energy in the residential sector. My research indicates that BEPS may be counterproductive in reducing energy consumption and may exacerbate the housing affordability problem for some groups of households.
The research provides some information that may be valuable to urban planners in the development and execution of housing energy policies and programs relating to location choice, affordability, and conservation.
Area planning & development
0999: Area planning & development