Navigation – Plan du site

AccueilTransversalitésData papers2021Unequal housing affordability acr...

2021
974

Unequal housing affordability across European cities. The ESPON Housing Database, Insights on Affordability in Selected Cities in Europe

L’inégale abordabilité du logement dans les villes européennes. La base de données ESPON sur le logement, aperçu des prix dans une sélection de villes Européennes
El desigual acceso a la vivienda en las ciudades europeas. Aproximación a su estudio en función del precio a partir de la base de datos ESPON
Renaud Le Goix, Ronan Ysebaert, Timothée Giraud, Marc Lieury, Guilhem Boulay, Mathieu Coulon, Sébastien Rey-Coyrehourcq, Rémi Lemoy, José J. Ramasco, Mattia Mazzoli, Pere Colet, Thierry Theurillat, Alain Segessemann, Szymon Marcińczak et Bartosz Bartosiewicz

Résumés

Cet article présente et décrit une base de données consolidée, harmonisée et comparable au niveau international pour quantifier les impacts de la crise de l'accessibilité (ou abordabilité) du logement. Cette base de données permet de caractériser l’inégale abordabilité du logement dans une sélection de métropoles européennes, une question cruciale pour la cohésion sociale et la durabilité dans les zones métropolitaines en Europe. La question porte sur l’inégalité d’accès au logement, en fonction des revenus. Mais cet écart s’est creusé au cours des dernières décennies : depuis les années 1990, les prix des logements ont en moyenne augmenté plus vite que les revenus des résidents et des acheteurs. La base de données caractérise l’abordabilité à l’aide de mesures du prix (propriété et loyer) et du revenu dans une sélection de zones urbaines fonctionnelles européennes (Functional Urban Areas, FUA). L’objectif méthodologique est de combler une lacune, c’est-à-dire l’absence de données spatiales harmonisées pour cartographier et analyser l’accessibilité financière en Europe. Cette étude, menée en 2018-19 par un consortium européen pour ESPON, couvre 4 pays de la zone et une région transfrontalière : Genève (Suisse), Annecy-Annemasse, Avignon et Paris (France), Madrid, Barcelone et Palma de Majorque (Espagne) et Varsovie, Łódź et Cracovie (Pologne). Nous apportons un éclairage sur la manière dont les données institutionnelles (données sur les transactions) peuvent être rapprochées des données collectées en ligne, et harmonisées pour contribuer à comparer l’accessibilité financière au sein des villes (entre les quartiers) et entre les villes, en utilisant différents niveaux géographiques (grille carroyée de 1 km, municipalités, FUA). Nous présentons la structure de la base de données, comment elle a été construite de manière reproductible ; nous documentons le processus de validation, les forces et les limites des données fournies, et documentons la reproductibilité de l’analyse.

Haut de page

Notes de l’auteur

First and second authors designed and led the study, wrote the paper, and contributed equally. Other authors have been in charge of national contributions to the database and analysis, edition of the text, and contributed equally.

Texte intégral

1 Introduction

1Providing the means of a better knowledge of housing affordability is becoming increasingly important, for public policies and scholarly research. This data-paper presents and describes a consolidated, harmonized, internationally comparable database to quantify the impacts of the housing affordability crisis. This database is structured to promote some means to understand key issues in urban areas: social filtering processes, gentrification, accumulation, and socio-economic inequalities more generally. We do so by discussing a methodological framework to integrate neighborhood and local spatial data, structured with harmonized indicators, to examine and compare the unequal spatial patterns of housing affordability across Europe.

2The dataset derives from the ESPON Big Data for Territorial Analysis of Housing Dynamics 2018-19 applied research program. ESPON EGTC is a regional planning agency for the European Commission. In European larger cities decent and affordable housing is increasingly hard to get access to: the goal of the study is to inform the increased and unequal affordability gap at the local geographical level, with tools for comparison between cities, and within cities.

  • 1 "Housing affordability across European cities Dynamics" [dataset] (2020). Nakala, DOI : 10.34847/nk (...)

3The aim of the original ESPON report published in 2019 was to inform European public policies in territorial cohesion. The report has been drafted with a description and discussion of the results, in an analysis of the unequal spatial patterns of unaffordability in Europe. Information regarding the reproducibility of the work and data collection has also been added to the report, as appendix. The aim of this data paper is to complement the report with a full description of the database constructed, its metadata, the possible usages for further research, and procedures for reproducibility and future additions to the database. We do so and present the structure of the database, how it has been constructed in a reproducible manner ; we document the validation process, the strengths and limitations of the data provided, and document the reproducibility of the workflow. The database stored on the Nakala open access respository comes with a fully reproducible example documented as a RMarkdown document1.

4The database has been structured so as to answer several issues altogether, that are the theoretical backbones of the research. One dimension of the problem is unequal access to housing opportunity with regard to income and wealth of households. Another dimension is that this gap has widened during the last decades. Since the 1990s, housing prices have on average increased faster than the income of residents and buyers in major post-industrial city-regions, but this trend is not ubiquitous and there are some exceptions. Second, since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC) more specifically, the affordability crisis seems to have followed unprecedented pathways of accumulation and vulnerability for households in OECD countries: general price inflation has maintained, but also with greater instability and volatility of local trends. A third issue between European cities is the variegated pathways housing regimes have followed since the GFC. The notion of housing regime can be defined as the systemic relationship between diverse housing systems, tenure and provision arrangements, and wider welfare regimes (Arbaci 2007 ; Tammaru et al. 2019). A decline of ownership has been observed in some countries (Byrne 2020) with an unprecedented growth of the private rental sector. In other countries, ownership has stabilized and other forms of access to housing have emerged, with new regulations of the rental sector as an alternative to social rental and owner-occupied housing, like in the Netherlands and France for instance (Wijburg 2019; Hochstenbach and Ronald 2020).

5Our research also copes with a data gap, i.e., a lack of harmonized spatial data to map affordability in Europe. Institutional, private, national or local data do exist. But these are not harmonized and inter-operable, not fit for comparison (Julliard and Gusarova 2019), and Eurostat does not provide local indicators on affordability. To cope with this data gap, the paper brings new insights on how (1) institutional data, such as transaction data, can be bridged with (2) unconventional data (“big data” harvested on line) to provide a cost-effective and harmonized data collection effort that can contribute to the analysis of affordability. We aggregated the data in various geographical levels of analysis (1km square-grid, municipalities, FUA), following a methodological framework to use local spatial data and to allow the comparison within cities (between neighborhoods) and between cities, and designed to allow reproducing in further studies. The methodology has been applied to 10 case-studies Functional Urban Areas (FUAs) covering 4 countries of the ESPON Area, among which one cross-border region: Geneva (Switzerland), Annecy-Annemasse, Avignon and Paris (France), Madrid, Barcelona and Palma de Majorca (Spain) and Warsaw, Łódź and Krakow (Poland). This database does not cover the entire set of FUAs, but has been designed as a proof of concept, to envision a wider study that could bring together experts from different countries in Europe, to build a more thorough analysis. Open code and transferable methods are documented and disseminated with the ESPON study, to allow further implementation.

6Section 2 provides a literature review, and discusses the conceptual contribution of the database in the wider context of a policy-oriented research on housing at a European level. Section 3 presents the methods used for the data collection: data sources, spatial coverage and case-studies, aggregation and harmonization procedures. It details the conceptual and theoretical models applied to conduct the data collection, and the methodological framework applied. We particularly insist on the effort to bridge the gap by harmonizing conventional and institutional data sources, with unconventional sources from the web ("big data"), to map affordability, along with the quality control and data validation procedures. Section 4 is dedicated to presenting a possible use of the dataset, by mapping and comparing local housing data and giving insights on the main findings from the data. The final section is dedicated to metadata.

2 Context, literature review and contribution of the database in housing research

7This section discusses the policy context in which the production of the database took place, and frames the issue of affordability and inflation, within the wider literature on housing regimes and inequality. We argue that the lack of harmonized local spatial data to map affordability in Europe is a major issue to better analyze and compare the situation at local geographical levels. The aim of the ESPON database is to present data and reproducible methods that contribute to filling this data gap.

2.1 Policy context : coping with inflation in Europe

8Housing prices have increased faster than the income of renters and buyers in major post-industrial city-regions, and real estate has become an important driver of socio-economic inequalities: “in 2014, approximately 7% of the EU-28 population faced the situation where housing costs accounted for more than half of their disposable income” (Eurostat, 2016). This forms the basis of our study. The policy-oriented broader reflection is to analyze the spatial dynamics of unequal local affordability, as framed by the Action Plan of the Partnership on Housing of the UE Urban Agenda pushes for improved knowledge regarding affordability of housing. We address the housing elements of European policies through one major problem: affordability, a concept defined as a gap between housing prices and households’ income (Tighe and Mueller 2012; Friggit 2017).

9Housing is a major policy issue regarding urban well-being, cohesion and sustainability in Europe. The study is framed by the Territorial Agenda of the European Union for 2020 and deals with the impacts of housing on territorial cohesion, and how to tackle with risks of exclusion. The Pact of Amsterdam (2016) recognizes housing as a key priority of the Urban Agenda for the European Union, because it affects social cohesion and stability in Europe, the Action Plan of the Partnership on Housing of the EU pushes for improved knowledge regarding affordable housing.

  • 2 International Monetary Fund, 2012, Growth Resuming, Dangers Remain, World Economic Outloook. Word E (...)

10This affordability crisis impacts the well-being of residents in European cities, and has been well analyzed at macro-economic levels. As soon as the early 1990s, housing finance (access to credit, mortgage and fiscal incentives for investors) has increased dramatically in the Global North, yielding a continuous inflow of buyers on markets, and a volatile inflation of price: residential mortgage outstanding debt reached as early as 2006 an all-time high level: 35% (France), 50% (Sweden, Spain, Germany), 80% (US) and 100% (Netherlands, Denmark) of the GDP, according to Schwartz and Seabrooke (2009). A 2012 IMF report analyzed the change in household debt-to-income ratio between 2002 and 2010: +100% in Ireland and the Netherlands, +45% in Spain, +50% in Norway and in the UK, for instance2. Also, since the early 2000s, the gap between households’ income and real estate prices has widened. For owner-occupied households, in Britain, Ireland, the average price to income ratio of 3:1 in 1996 reached values between 4:1 and 5:1 in 2007 (Schwartz and Seabrooke 2009). A study in 17 countries (14 in Europe, and the USA, Canada, Japan) showed that the homeownership rates ranges between 50 to 83% in 2010. In many countries, homeownership skyrocketed until the 1990s then stabilized. There is evidence that housing markets have since switched to another more debt-driven inflation dynamic: data shows a growth of mortgage debt without growth of ownership “in [a] majority of countries, recent decades, particularly in the 2000s, were marked by a growth of mortgages per GDP not paralleled by a growth of homeownership, which either grew much less than before or even declined” (Kohl 2018, p. 185). In parallel, entire segments of the markets have shifted to private rental, with a massive transfer of housing debt dedicated to investments in private rental, a sector that has been framed by national policy regimes (Wijburg 2019; Byrne 2020; Hochstenbach and Ronald 2020).

11This results in an unprecedented inflation: in 1985-2010 price-to-income ratio has increased from + 13% up to +28% in France, 44% in the UK, except in Germany and Japan (Aalbers 2016). In France, affordability of homeownership, i.e. real estate purchase power, calculated by dividing housing prices by level of wealth (income generally) has dropped at its lowest historical level (Friggit 2017), because of a +70% increase of the actual cost of real estate since 2000, while households benefited from lower interest rates and longer credit range to offset this price inflation and maintain purchase power. This is not, however, the case in every European country, as demonstrated in a study by Beresewicz (2015), where data show a decreasing trend on the stock market in Poland after 2008.

12This affordability problem spreads across markets, with unequal effects (Kemeny 2001; André and Chalaux 2018). The OECD Affordable Housing Database (AHD) characterizes the various conditions existing on European markets. Data show that in many European countries, price paid (through the average mortgage or rent burden) tops up the 25% of disposable income critical threshold, in Norway, Finland, Czech Republic, Sweden, the Netherlands, Greece, the UK, Denmark and Spain as for rents. For owner-occupied households, this is measured by means of the cost of mortgage, and it reaches the highest levels of disposable income in France, in Luxembourg, Ireland and Croatia. Among lower-income owners, covering all individuals with a net income below 50% of median income of total population, the situation shows critical threshold of debt (50%) in 14 countries of the OECD study (Oecd 2018). For renters, the worst situations are found in 9 countries among which Croatia, Greece, Spain, the UK and Portugal.

2.2 Literature review: affordability, housing regimes and inequalities

13Given the effects of price inflation on price-to-income gap in European cities, it is crucial to contextualize the issue within the different market regimes between European cities, as a large part of the literature considers a global shift in market regimes has occurred (Fernandez and Aalbers 2016). Affordability of housing has become, in this context more and more socially and politically embedded in welfare.

14This situation in European countries is linked with financial and macroeconomic parameters like monetary policies, credit affordability and fiscal policies targeting investment (national policies): 25 States in the OECD promote homeownership by means of subsidies and fiscal incentives to first-time property owners and/or fiscal incentives to offset the cost for individual buyers (André and Chalaux 2018). This shows how advanced economies have shifted toward an asset-based welfare model, yielding a regime linking an ideology of ownership, credit affordability and house price often subsidized by the State and local governments (Ronald 2008; Rolnik 2013). Topalov (1987) has well established how homeownership regimes shifted from a rentier-system to a credit-based massive homeownership system. Such a shift has been regulated by converging public policies (to increase household solvency and provide incentives to homeownership), the banking industry, market players’ strategies (among which developers have been preeminent), and preservation of assets strategies by households. Some scholars describe a path dependency-shift in almost every nation-state influenced by global World Bank policies (Rolnik 2013; Theurillat, Rérat, and Crevoisier 2015). Other studies suggest that housing regimes have also recently shifted towards a retargeting of investment, from owner-occupied housing to private lenders: recent studies showed that private sector rental has been preeminent in the restructuring of credit markets since the GCF (Byrne 2020).

15Trajectories are therefore highly dependent upon national frameworks, and the state enables households to act as investors, engaging through markets with prospects of future gains, while exposed to greater risks (volatility of price, loss of property values, risks of bankruptcy and foreclosures, etc.), raising questions of individual and systemic risks, and therefore vulnerabilities of households (Schwartz 2012).

16This has also been a gradual shift in welfare, across national models (Fernandez and Aalbers 2016). Housing asset-based welfare is described as a rising ideology of ownership across modern-industrialized societies and a path dependency in housing policy reforms (Malpass 2011), characterized market mechanisms driven by policy-measures, socio-ideological frameworks (Ronald 2008) and finance-led accumulation regimes (Boyer 2009). This holds for both owners and for private lenders, who are also often households developing investment strategies to recycle accumulated wealth. More specifically, theories link the high proportion of capital investment that housing represents for households and the ways welfare states are organized and reformed (Kemeny 2001), the pursuit of owner-occupancy being viewed as a superior form of tenure, while privatizing social housing (Van Gent 2010).

17The situation in Europe is very diverse in this respect. André and Chalaux (2018) used the OECD database to identify four groups among a set of OECD countries, showing how the dimensions of the affordability question are highly multifaceted, according to various market regimes:

A group named "Northern", as it covers mainly Northern Europe, including Germany, features extended private rental and generally high household debt. A "Western" group, which includes France and the United Kingdom, has higher home-ownership rates and more social housing. "Southern‐Central" and "Eastern" groups gather European countries, where outright home-ownership is prevalent, but housing conditions are poorer. (André and Chalaux 2018, p. 1)

18One policy implication is that no single recommendation can be issued at a European level regarding the affordability crisis, with regards to the diversity of market conditions in Europe. Generally speaking:

  • For prospective homeowners: increased affordability gap leads to a socially-selective access to housing markets, yielding more spatial exclusion and increased social tensions. Real estate has become an important driver of socioeconomic inequalities, especially between owners and renters, with different trajectories of wealth and accumulation.

  • The cost of ownership impacts rents, and also the availability of housing to let, especially because of increased private rental that are substitutes to the withdrawal of the State from public rental. The global financial and economic crisis also led to decreasing construction activities across Europe, in particular with respect to social housing, as many governments restrained their level of public spending.

  • For owners, real estate has become a major component of household wealth. But local markets are also volatile. Housing prices are therefore unstable and contingent upon the market’s continuous restratification within and across neighborhoods. Real estate influences the local conditions through which household wealth is accumulated or lost (Le Goix et al. 2021).

2.3 Filling a data gap

19In such a context, the goal of the database is to detail the relationships between income, price and local market conditions in European FUAs. However, one major issue is the lack of harmonized spatial data to map and analyze affordability in Europe. There are plenty of institutional (tax, census), private (real-estate agents and websites) and national or local data (parcels, local tax rolls). These are not harmonized and easy to inter-operate.

20ESPON interest in the database has been policy oriented. However, data by OECD and Eurostat are disseminated respectively at the national and at the city levels, but the datasets are far from complete in terms of thematic and geographical objects available to accurately analyze housing dynamics. The Urban Audit survey (Eurostat) publishes some perception data on the conditions of housing, and annual statistic aggregates on price, type of structure and households’ income, with an average degree of completeness of 51%, along with missing data in several countries in Europe, including France. The OECD database characterizes affordability as national aggregates, and allows for comparisons to be made between countries (André and Chalaux 2018). To compare housing situations between European cities, Eurostat provides some indicators mainly derived from national censuses under the topic “living conditions”. It provides basic distinctions between houses and apartments, housing type (owner-occupied dwellings, households in social housing), as well as incomplete data on the average price for buyers and renters and average income. Eurostat also provides an overview of the distribution of housing conditions across the European urban hierarchy.

21Two shortcomings should be highlighted: (1) a lack of information regarding the definition and harmonization between databases; (2) the market segments and spatial coverages for which the aggregated information is relevant. These are common problems when harmonizing national census definitions and highlight the heterogeneity of national censuses led in each country in Europe. In short: some datasets are available, but on many respects, there is a need for ways to bridge and produce analysis at local level (Julliard and Gusarova 2019).

3 Methods

22This section describes the steps required to select data sources, define case studies, and data collection, harvesting and the methodology required to combine conventional and unconventional data sources. We describe harmonization and aggregation procedures, that are not only technical, but also conceptual. We finally discuss quality control and data validation procedures, and finally missing data handling, by means of interpolation. As detailed in Figure 1, the workflow required three major steps.

3.1 Data sources

23The data collection was organized using two categories of data sources (Figure 1). Conventional data sources are provided by traditional statistical offices through census for public, demographic use and policies. We gathered data from these providers mainly to inform households income, and we used local income by national statistical offices, and national income data at national level (Eurostat). We combine such classical indicators with unconventional data sources to describe housing market.

24Data were extracted from various platforms and sources and are often named “big data”. We define as “unconventional” data sources that have not been designed and/or documented to prepare measurements, geographical processing and socio-economic research. They often derive from administration or commercial purposes. We distinguish two kinds of unconventional data providers. Institutional data providers on the one hand (Chambre des Notaires in France, Wuestpartner in Switzerland). Such commercial providers distribute proprietary databases that derive from public records of property transactions. They provide information on real-estate transactions. On the other hand, we used scraped data from internet services, which gather advertisements by real-estate agents and private sellers (Leboncoin in France, Fotocasa in Spain): the database also aggregates information on real-estate offers. Such unconventional data is often viewed as interesting proxies to measure, and better understand spatial behaviors and territorial dynamics, and as a means of providing higher spatio-temporal resolution data when compared to institutional data sources (Gallotti et al. 2015), although findings suggests caution regarding the significance of such sources (Kitchin 2013). Prior to relying upon the unconventional data sources, it is important to assess their reliability, and if they provide accurate information when compared to the long established, statistically robust collection data. Some studies have addressed the robustness of IDS (Internet Data Sources) compared to more conventional data (Le Goix and Vesselinov 2014; Beresewicz 2015), so we also consider the issue of robustness of collected samples in this study (section 3.6).

Figure 1: Overview of the methodology (workflow).

Figure 1: Overview of the methodology (workflow).

3.2 Spatial coverage: 10 functional urban areas as case-studies

25Ten case studies have been selected, covering some of the variegated dynamics of housing market (gentrification process, tourism, housing crisis, etc.). Highlighting heterogeneous and contrasting situations has been deemed relevant to carry out a first international and comparative study on housing dynamics in Europe based on local indicators.

26The 10 case studies cover 4 countries of the ESPON Area as well as one cross-border region: Geneva-Annecy-Annemasse (Switzerland-France), Avignon and Paris (France), Madrid, Barcelona and Palma de Majorca (Spain) and Warsaw, Łódź and Krakow (Poland). They have been selected for their variety (size and urban dynamics), data availability, and local expertise on data sources. Because they cover cities with both high and low levels of owner-occupancy, the interest of the selection is to highlight a range of housing regimes in Europe, and also allows to consider how to fill data gaps, as on Figure 2 (Poland, for instance, was poorly documented in European databases).

27The selected case studies occupy various positions in the urban hierarchy: the spectrum ranges from 3rd tier cities functional urban areas (276,000 inhabitants for Annecy, 320,000 for Avignon or 670,000 for Palma de Majorca), up to larger cities (3.1 million inhabitants for Warsaw, 4.9 for Barcelona, 6.6 for Madrid) and includes one global city (11.9 M in Paris FUA). The Geneva-Annemasse-Annecy cross-border area offers an interesting setting in terms of unequal affordability, not yet studied with harmonized data.

28For these 10 case-studies, the aim is to provide statistical information on housing affordability at three territorial levels: at the FUA itself, and down to the LAU2 level (communes in France) and the 1km European reference grid level.

Figure 2: Overview of case-study FUAs (% of owned dwellings 2010 and Eurostat’s data gaps).

Figure 2: Overview of case-study FUAs (% of owned dwellings 2010 and Eurostat’s data gaps).

Note : Names and blue outlines indicate case-studies (functional urban areas).

3.3 A survey of data sources for case studies

29To detail the procedure, we have first identified the availability of possible sources to analyze the local spatial structure of housing affordability in a selection of countries. This step has highlighted how difficult it would be to follow a data-driven approach in a European comparative perspective on housing and affordability. The goal has therefore been to include in the study various national situations regarding the availability of data, in order to test a methodology for data collection that could be extended to other contexts, in a future pan-European study.

  • 3 This data review has been realized by available team members with specific local expertise. Three a (...)

30The review has been realized in France, Poland, Spain, Switzerland3, as main case studies. Its purpose was to highlight the main characteristics of these data resources, where local expertise was available (spatial coverage, time coverage, available indicators…). We also used as source of information a recently published report by Julliard and Gusarova (2019). Table 1 offers an overview of potential data sources available for surveyed countries.

    • 4 DVF has been released at the end of the project funding scheme, and has therefore not been included (...)
    • 5 As noted by Julliard and Gusarova (2019), many other sources are also available online : “property (...)

    France has a long-standing well-established tradition of nationally collecting statistical information on transactions. Given a costly fee (even for researcher of public institutions), transaction data are made available commercially by the Paris Chamber of Notaries database (BIEN). This database covers Ile-de-France real-estate transactions. For the rest of France, the same type of information are commercially made available by French notaries as PERVAL database. Such databases provide a wide range of information related to transactions: price, very detailed characteristics of the property, as well as extra information such as the socio-economic attributes of the seller and the buyer (age, employment category), or the contracted debt of the buyer. Data on property values declared to for land property taxation has been made available in 20194. This fiscal database (Demandes de valeurs foncières, DVF) is available free of charge. It however does not exactly cover transactions on the housing markets, but individual parcels and buildings known values. The problem being that one transactions is in many cases composed by several parcels (i.e. one apartment and one garage; one house, a piece of land, and sometimes a garage and an outbuilding). Major differences between transactions databases and DVF, and their possible use, has been thoroughly documented by Casanova et al. (2017); Casanova Enault, Boulay, and Coulon (2019). Furthermore, many online platforms coexist, that provide different entry-points as IDS. We used one of the most popular ones: Leboncoin.fr market-place advertises properties to buy and properties to let, either by real-estate agents or by individuals5. InsideAirbnb (harvested Airbnb data) is also an important data source available in Paris, Bordeaux and Lyon.

  • In Poland, a variety of datasets are available: for some cities the transaction price can be obtained through notarial deeds, down to the address (Łódź), but this has not been the case in Warsaw or Krakow. Some datasets are also collected by the National Bank of Poland (LAU2 units). The online real-estate market place domiporta.pl is a widely used resource, that provides real-estate advertisement: it is a harvestable source for price asked and rent asked. Airbnb advertises properties in many cities, but the insideAirBnb harvesting platform is not available.

  • Except aggregated price index and statistics (Instituto Nacional de Estadística, INE and Ministerio des Fomento, Registradores de España), Spain has no national transaction detailed local data widely and reliably available, although Registradores de España now release partial data. Prices are not released publicly, however. Some cities publish their own transactions data (Barcelonatran, for instance), otherwise price estimates are available through companies and private providers. It is therefore convenient in Spain to harvest data online: Fotocasa and Idealista are websites and interactive online platforms that collect property advertisements. Such tools provide property and rental prices. InsideAirbnb (harvested Airbnb data) is available for 6 Spanish cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, Mallorca, Sevilla and Valencia.

  • Switzerland has official statistics on rents and new buildings (Census, Statistics Federal Office), but not on property prices. Several private companies collect and distribute property data for Switzerland, such as CIFI or Fahrländer Partner. In this project, we have used Wuest&Partner data sources, considered as the most accurate.

Table 1: Potential data sources available for case studies, a synthesis

Countries

Institutional data on transactions

Market place platforms

Census

(case study)

(land registry, notaries…)

(online data harvesting )

Switzerland

X

X

France

X

X

Spain

Some cities

X

Poland

Some cities

X

3.4 Data collection

  • 6 Supplemental material: Building ESPON Housing harmonized indicators, a reproducible example (`data_ (...)
  • 7 ESPON EGTC Big Data for Territorial Analysis: Housing Dynamics. Final report - Guidance Document. P (...)

31Based on data sources identified, this section describes the process leading to the combination of unconventional and conventional data sources. This process has been fully documented, detailed as a narrative for the case study of Barcelona, along with the complete R language code, to demonstrate and reproduce the methodology. A fully documented reproducible R code is provided as Supplemental Material on the data repository6. Other examples are documented in the full report 7.

3.4.1 Conventional institutional data: Eurostat and National Statistical Institutes indicators

32A first issue is data collection from the relevant providers to target harmonized indicators as outputs. Conventional census data are required to extract information at EU level on socio-economic characteristics of case studies and to collect data on income, for the construction of an estimation of real-estate affordability. Institutional unconventional data are also required to describe residential property markets.

33Two main categories of institutional data providers (“official statistics”) have been used: harmonized European statistics and national statistics. EU statistics (sources Urban statistics, Eurostat) have been used to characterize selected case-studies as regards to the other cities of Europe. Taking into account the availability of data, 20 indicators at Core City have been identified, against 14 only at FUA level. This allows to compare all the European cities and Functional Urban Areas. EU statistics include demographic indicators (age), households’ characteristics, information related to the employment (economy tertiary oriented or not) and other relevant factors to understand who lives in the cities. However, little information is available on housing. It is only possible to extract one item of the EU perception survey: “is it easy to find good housing in your city?”, which gives only a very rough qualitative assessment of affordability by European citizens. These indicators are provided in the data repository.

Table 2: Listing of Eurostat available indicators relevant for characterizing the housing market

ID

Indicator Name

Reference year

Reference

(in the data delivery)

(Eurostat table)

POP_2015

Total population

2015

“urb_cpop1”

POP024_2015

Share of population aged 0-24 years (%)

2015

“urb_cpop1”

POP2544_2015

Share of population aged 25-44 years (%)

2015

“urb_cpop1”

POP4564_2015

Share of population aged 45-64 years (%)

2015

“urb_cpop1”

POP65_2015

Share of population aged above 65 years (%)

2015

“urb_cpop1”

HOUSEHOLD_AREA_2011

Housing size (average size of dwellings)

2011

“urb_clivcon”

HOUSEHOLD_SIZE_2011

Average size of households

2011

“urb_clivcon”

SINGLE_HOUSEHOLD_2011

Share of single households (%)

2011

“urb_clivcon”

OWNED_DWELLINGS_2011

Share of owner-occupied dwellings (%)

2011

“urb_clivcon”

UNEMP_2014

Unemployment rate (%)

2014

“urb_clma”

EMP_INDS_2014

Share of employment in industry (%)

2014

“urb_clma”

EMP_HOTELS_2014

Share of employment in restauration, hotels and transports (%)

2014

“urb_clma”

EMP_RESTATE_2014

Share of employment in real estate activities (%)

2014

“urb_clma”

ST_HIGH_EDU_2011

Share of students in higher education (ISCED 5-6) (per 1000 persons in the population 18-24 years)

2011

“urb_ceduc”

WF_HIGH_EDU_2011

Proportion of popuation aged 25-64 years qualified at level 5 to 8 ISCED

2011

“urb_ceduc”

NIGHTS_2011

Total nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments per resident population

2011

“urb_ctour”

BEDS_2011

Number of available beds in tourist accomodation establishments per 1000 residents

2011

“urb_ctour”

HOUSING_EASY_2015

Share of persons answering "Strongly agree" to the question of the Urban Audit : is it easy to find good housing in your city ?

2015

“urb_percep”

HOUSING_DIFFICULT_2015

Share of persons answering "Strongly disagree" to the question of the Urban Audit : is it easy to find good housing in your city ?

2015

“urb_percep”

  • 8 EU-SILC 2020 release: version 1 released in March 2020 and containing cross-sectional data up to 20 (...)

34Global affordability indices have been prepared using European income data at a national level (EU-SILC survey8). This is the reference source for comparative statistics on income distribution in the European Union. For this study, the first, the fifth (median) and the ninth decile of income distribution have been used. The choice of thresholds has been made with regards to the needs for data standardization to compare national affordability between case studies in the local data production described in the following subsections. These aggregates, harmonized at a European level, allow the comparison of affordability levels across national contexts. Income data have then been used to produce normalized indicators of affordability (price to income ratio), for instance to answer the following question: “How long the 10% poorest / median / 10% richest of the population have to work to buy/rent 1sq. meter in city A”?

35LAU2 income, data provided by national providers, have also been used, especially to locally contextualize affordability. A classical caveat applies regarding income data. It is not recommended to compare local affordability, based on local income data, between cities of different countries. Indeed, the methodologies for income computation varies from one country to another: per capita or per households; before/after tax; with or without social benefits, etc. The statistical parameters for aggregated income also differ in institutional data, some as median, other are average income at LAU2 level. Nevertheless, local affordability indexes are still highly relevant to compare local affordability between cities of the same country (Avignon-Paris / Madrid, Barcelona-Palma de Mallorca / or Łódź-Warsaw-Krakow separately), the methodology of income calculation being generally harmonized at national level. Indicators available in the database are detailed section 3.5.3.3.2 Unconventional institutional data: transactions

36In some cases, in France, it has been possible to use property-level data. Two datasets have been used.

  • One on the Paris region, provided under the Labex Dynamite agreement by Paris Notaries Services, a subsidiary of the Chamber of the Notaries. This sample contains transactions for the region and its suburbs, within the administrative limits of Ile-de-France (roughly 1 million rows), for year 1996 to 2012. All records contain information on the property amenities and pricing, and series of understudied interesting variable on sellers and buyers, such as age, sex, socio-economic status, national origin, place of residence, and some credit history related to the transaction. For a discussion on the interest and limitations of this dataset for local studies of housing inequality, see Le Goix et al. (2019a).

  • In other French FUAs (Avignon, Annecy, Annemasse), PERVAL, a database of transactions provided by Les notaires de France has been purchased for the study. It provides properties information, based on individual transactions, with a data structure similar to BIEN database.

3.4.3 Unconventional real-estate data: harvesting

  • 9 Note on legal and ethical considerations regarding webscraping. According to a legal review of cond (...)

37Data harvesting or web-scraping has been systematically used to gather data on the real-estate market offer (both property and rental markets), where institutional data on transactions simply do not exist. Harvesting real-estate websites can be considered in such cases as the only viable solution to properly gather a significant sample of data on housing market and advertised prices on real estate offers or rental. Data harvesting however raises methodological, ethical and legal questions that have been considered in the course of the project.9

38Data harvesting, on real-estate advertisement websites and market-places platforms has been conducted following a procedure, generally using Python language Scrapy library, which can be summarized as follows:

  1. Listing properties. Harvesting real estate online listings (property advertisements). It consists in getting the total number of ads and determining the pages to scrape after identification of the relevant tags syntax in the URL query, with a specific attention given to geographical tags and the type of offer (real estate offer / rental ; apartments and-or houses, etc). We then automatically collect all the adds included in all pages of the first query result. The first output is a list of URLs to be harvested (one URL by offer).

    • 10 The cost and duration of the project allowed only for test drives and a few months of collection, a (...)

    Identifying all the relevant information for listed properties in step 1. This consists in preparing the script for each website to automatically fetch the data. It requires to harvest the webpage, and identify the interesting attributes/tags to get (price, number of rooms, surface, geographical location …). This is a tedious, very costly and time-consuming process that requires a lot of retro-engineering of webpages, with different data sources in each countries10.

  2. Data cleaning. The most common errors are duplicate records (sometimes a real estate listing can be published several times), absence of location coordinates or inconsistencies in the information describing each advertised property (area, price, etc.). More inconsistencies are found in geocoding. This will be further discussed in the validation section.

3.5 Harmonization of the database, description of variables

39Data collection/cleaning and aggregation procedures are conducted so as to produce data that can be used in a multiscale perspective. Produced at the local fine-grain geographical city level (grid and LAU2), they are also aggregated up to the level of the entire FUAs. The indicators created are described below, and summarized Table 3.

40Local data produced contain the following information, where available:

  • Official geometries identifiers (LAU2 and grid)

  • Income data (municipal and national income data)

  • Aggregated transaction data if available (rooms, surface, price, debt contracted)

  • Aggregated web-scraped data for property sales (rooms, surface, price)

  • Aggregated web-scraped data for property rental (rooms, surface, price)

  • 11 For instance, a 2019 workshop organized by the JRC (the Joint Research Center is a European Commiss (...)

41The production of indicators revolved around the premises that price-to-income ratios, and their derivatives, are a commonly agreed characterization of general affordability. There are many dimensions to define affordability and accessibility to housing, a simple and robust indicator had to be defined and our proposal elaborates on price-to-income ratio, a measure often considered in the literature (Kim and Renaud 2009; Tighe and Mueller 2012; Friggit 2017). One of the advantages is how this measure combines housing prices (ownership or rental) as a numerator and a denominator related to wealth or socio-economic situation of the population (income). PIR are easy to understand and convey clear policy data informed messages, such as the number of months of full-time wage required to buy or rent 1 square meter11.

  • 12 The HousingStat function is delivered as part of the Supplemental Materials, section 2, on the data (...)

42The database delivers 29 targeted indicators at the FUA level, relevant for discussing housing and compare characterization between FUAs. These are provided at LAU2 level. It corresponds to 1390 territorial units in the Paris FUA, 43 in Avignon, 286 in the Geneva cross-border Area, 129 in Barcelona, 137 in Madrid, 33 in Palma de Mallorca, 151 in the 3 Polish FUAs. Data have also been aggregated at the FUA levels to provide statistical synthesis at this territorial level highly important from a policy point of view in Europe12.

43The indicators cover all the dimensions of the data collection, meaning real-estate transactions (Table 3a), real-transaction offers (Table 3b), the level of income of the population (Table 3c) and harmonized indicators (Table 3d, based on the variables detailed in Tables 3a,b and c). Metadata explicitly detail the indicator codes, labels, units of measure, reference year and data sources.

  • 13 The unit for these paramaters is the LAU and not the individual level.

44For each of the indicators displayed in table 3a and 3b, several statistical distribution parameters have been used as thresholds to evaluate the statistical dispersion at the LAU2 territorial unit13: first quartile (Q25 in the indicator code), median (Q50), third quartile (Q75), sum.

Table 3a: Indicators on real-estate transactions

Code

Label

Measure unit

Reference years

TRANS_NUMBER

Number of real estate transactions (apartments)

Number of transactions

2011-2012 (Paris), 2010 and 2014 (Avignon), 2017 (Polish case-studies), 2012 (Barcelona), 2010 and 2015 for Geneva cross-border area, no data for Madrid and Palma de Mallorca, Debt is only available for French case-studies.

PRICE_PAID

Price paid for properties

Euros

SURFACE

Surface of properties

Square meters

ROOMS

Number of rooms

Room

DEPT_SUM

Sum of debt contracted to buy a property

Euros

Table 3b: Indicators on real-estate offers

Code

Label

Measure unit

Reference year

OFFERS_NUMBER

Number of real estate offers

Number of offers

Data gathered from Web scraping on reference real-estate Websites in 2019.

OFFERS_PRICE

Advertized price for properties (real estate offers)

Euros

OFFERS_SURFACE

Surface of properties (real estate offers)

Square meters

OFFERS_ROOMS

Number of rooms

Room

RENT_NUMBER

Number of rental offers

Number of offers

RENT_PRICE

Advertized price for rental offers

Euros

RENT_SURFACE

Surface of rental offers

Square meters

RENT_ROOMS

Number of rooms (rental offers),

Room

RBNB_NUMBER

Number of Airbnb offer

Number of offer

2019 (Inside Airbnb)

Table 3c - Indicators from national statistical censuses and Eurostat

Code

Label

Measure unit

Reference year

TOT_P

Total population

Inhabitants

2011

INCOME_LOC

Average or median income (municipalities)

Euros

2016 for France, 2015 for Poland, 2011-2015 for France and Switzerland (average on time-period),

INCOME_NAT_D1

National Income, first decile

Euros

2015

INCOME_NAT_D5

National Income, median

Euros

2015

INCOME_NAT_D9

National Income, 9th decile

Euros

2015

45The most relevant ratios (Table 3d) are combined starting from basic indicators (Tables 3a,b & c).

  • price/sq. meter (price paid, advertised price, rental), a standard indicator, but highly contingent to the local structure of housing;

  • Three different affordability indices. Local affordability is a price-to-income ratio computed with local income. It describes to what extent a LAU2 is more or less affordable for household living in the LAU2, based on the local income distribution. National affordability answers a more general question: to what extent a given place is affordable for an average household in a given country. We also provide the difference between local and national affordability. This gives a better understanding of whether it is easier or not for a local household, as compared to another one moving out from any other place in the same country, to afford a property in the designated area (positive values), or not (negative values).

  • A last index is referred to as the profitability index, calculated as a ratio between advertised price for property and advertised price for rental. This approach is best conceptualized as being a common approach that computes how much one landlord should invest in a rental property for 1 euro of rent”. A higher index means two things: advertised prices are high, as compared to rental offer; or rental offer prices are cheaper, compared to property prices. In other terms, a lower index can be interpreted as locations where the development of rental offers may be specifically profitable for real-estate investors.

Table 3d - Synthesis of harmonized indicators built from various data sources.

Code

Label

Measure unit

Based on,

PRICE_SURF

Price paid for properties

Euros per square meters

A

OFFERS_PRICESURF

Advertized price for properties,

Euros per square meters

B

RENT_PRICESURF

Advertized price for rental offers

Euros per square meters

B

PROFIT

Profitability index (Ratio between advertized price per sq. meter for property and advertized price per sq. meter for rental offers

Index

B

TRANS_SQ_METERS_LOC

Local affordability: Number of months of local income required to buy 1sq. meter (ratio between price paid per sq. meter for property and median local income/12)

Month

A-C

TRANS_SQ_METERS_NATD5

National affordability: Number of months of national income required to buy 1sq. meter (ratio between price paid per sq. meter for property and median income/12)

Month

A-C

TRANS_SQ_ METERS_DIFF

Difference between local and national affordability (transactions)

Month

D

BUY_SQ_METERS_LOC

Local affordability (real-estate transaction offers)

Month

B-C

BUY_SQ_METERS_NATD5

National affordability (real-estate transaction offers)

Month

B-C

BUY_SQ_ METERS_DIFF

Difference between local and national affordability (transaction offers)

Month

D

RENT_SQ_METERS_LOC

Local affordability (rental): Number of days of local income required to rent 1sq. meter (ratio between advertized price per sq. meter for rental and median local income/365)

Days

B-C

RENT_SQ_METERS_NATD5

National affordability (rental): Number of days of national income required to rent 1sq. meter (ratio between advertized price per sq. meter for rental and median local income/365)

Days

B-C

RENT_SQ_METERS_DIFF

Difference between local and national affordability (rental)

Days

D

PRICE_SUM_SM

Price paid for properties, sum, smoothed (cf part 3.5.2 for details)

Euros

A-B

SURFACE_SUM_SQ

Surface of properties, sum, smoothed (cf part 3.5.2 for details)

Square meters

A-B

PRICE_SQ_SM

Price paid for properties (Euros per square meters), smoothed

Euros / square meters

D

46Considering the availability of data, and combining data with the computation of statistical parameters (Q25, Q50, Q75, etc.) whenever it was deemed relevant, the database is structured with 84 variables for the FUA of Paris, 83 for Geneva-cross-border area, 108 for Avignon (real-estate transactions available for 2 time periods), 56 for Madrid and Palma de Mallorca (no real-estate transaction data), 79 for Barcelona (some real-estate transaction indicators) and 63 indicators for Poland. All variable names share a common coding system, whenever the datasets are fully comparable from a methodological point of view. The data repository includes one data file by case-study.

3.6 Quality control and data validation

47Two main issues had to be tackled with when analyzing the consistency of data produced. A first one has been the degree to which it was statistically reliable to match institutional and robust census data with scraped and maybe biased datasets. A second issue was how to address missing values, locally poor sampling of spatial data, and spatial biases. This section describes how such issues have been tackled with, and mitigation procedures that have been applied and approved by ESPON EGTC, in the process of publishing the datasets on ESPON Database Portal.

3.6.1 Quality of scraped data vs. institutional data

48The reliability of ‘big data’ when compared to institutional sources is indeed a complex question which does not have a single and clear answer. Some research focused on assessing the sampling bias of various ISP data sources, whether socio-demographics or spatial coverage quality assessment – i.e. statistical and spatial representativeness (Ruths and Pfeffer 2014; Longley, Adnan, and Lansley 2015; Shelton, Poorthui, and Zook 2015). Such studies have been conducted on a case-by-case basis, and this literature lacks references to quantitatively review, for a given spatial information task, the pros and cons of different types of big data when compared to traditional sources, by systematically comparing the picture one obtains with different sources.

49To avoid this lack of comparison between pricing references, we designed our research so as to be able to estimate the quality of scraped data, elaborating on researches that have conducted estimations and quality control on similar data sources. First, 2006 Beresewicz (2015) specifically addresses the question of comparing the representativeness of Internet Data Sources (IDS) compared to conventional data sources to analyze the real estate market in Poland. Institutional database on transactions allows to compare with harvested big data sources (real estate websites, open data sources and warehouses, Airbnb…). He also evaluates to which extent such online resources can be considered reliable to estimate quantitative information of the housing market. He compares basic variables, such as price per sq. m, floor area, number of rooms, to verify the consistency of data between institutional data and IDS. This research found the IDS data sources to be mostly consistent over time, except for larger apartments which are under-represented. He finally insists on the fact that "due to the non-sampling character of data obtained from the Internet, it is challenging to estimate standard errors for the estimated characteristics», and that transactions institutional data "do not contain any information on standard errors of estimates, which again limits the scope of comparison of distributions" (2006, p. 54).

50We obviously faced similar issues. We therefore sought to estimate the differences in datasets by comparing the statistical distribution of those constructed with institutional sources on the one hand, and those gathered by the means of real-estate website harvesting, for case-studies for which both sources were available. Elaborating on a very common indicator, price per sq. meter. Figure 3 shows that there are significant differences between institutional data and IPS data, especially in Avignon, Paris and Barcelona. Geneva, Annecy and Annemasse ISP data however seem to better fit the distribution of transaction data. We also plot on Figure 3 the distribution of price per sq. meters for case-studies for which only harvested data from ISP: it has not been possible to compare ISP data to other sources in these cases (Madrid, Palma and Warsaw, Łódź and Krakow).

Figure 3: Statistical distribution of case-studies in the ESPON Housing database, and sample difference analysis where both institutional and scraped ISP sources available: Kruskal-Wallis test and Dunn pairwise tests significance. Significant differences between groups shown only. Name of variables are the same as in the distributed database (boxplots: Q1, Q2 and Q3. error bars: 1.5*IQR. point: means).

Figure 3: Statistical distribution of case-studies in the ESPON Housing database, and sample difference analysis where both institutional and scraped ISP sources available: Kruskal-Wallis test and Dunn pairwise tests significance. Significant differences between groups shown only. Name of variables are the same as in the distributed database (boxplots: Q1, Q2 and Q3. error bars: 1.5*IQR. point: means).

Source: ESPON Big Data for Territorial Analysis and Housing Dynamics, UMS RIATE, 2019

  • 14 Representativeness of transaction database have been evaluated in 2002 (David et al., 2002), and th (...)

51To elaborate further on the differences between data sources, and to document whether scraped data should be used assuming they are representative as an alternative data source, we assume that scraped data have in common a non-sampling character. Recent work also analyzed available data and possible bias and representativeness issues (Boulay G., Blanke D., Casanova Enault L., and Granié A., 2020). They showed that transaction data (where available, for instance in France) do not contain any information on standard errors of estimates, which limits the scope of comparison between statistical distributions. They compared, on the one hand, DVF and PERVAL databases, both released as transaction database, the first one being produced for fiscal purposes, the other one as a listing of transactions registered by the Chamber of the Notaries. On both sources, they noted the non-sampling character of data, notaries listing being incomplete (especially outside of the Paris region)14, and DVF data being reconstructed as pseudo-transactions after post-processing arbitrages conducted on records that describe parcels (many of them with multiple units, i.e. several apartments; or any combination of houses, apartments, commercial units). They conclude that fiscal data and notaries data do not exactly convey the same representation of pricing and market segments. More importantly, they insist that public records made available as open-data (Open-DVF) do not allow to analyze the volume of transactions, neither to easily distinguish new housing units, against stock housing units (Casanova Enault et al., 2019). Casanova et al. (2017) importantly conclude that discrepancies observed between DVF and PERVAL derive from "1) the sampling biases induced by the incomplete and unknown coverage of the market in the PERVAL database, 2) differences in choice in the segmentation applied to DVF (post-processing of multiple transactions in parcel records)" (Casanova et al., 2017, p. 726, Author’s translation).

52To illustrate this point, we analyzed data gathered with different sources for the Avignon FUA (Figure 4) and the Paris FUA (Figure 5). Both are functional urban areas for which both institutional data (transactions from the notaries) and scraped data (advertisements) were available for the study. Additionally, to better inform the validity of collected data, we used DVF fiscal data (the Etalab version), a dataset that was not available at the time of the study delivered to ESPON. We however used DVF in this paper because records are exhaustive, and are useful to benchmark the quality of scraped data against public records. Figure 4 and Figure 5 show the resulting distribution comparisons (box plots), a Kruskal-Wallis test and a pairwise Dunn test. Although box-plots demonstrate on average similar distribution patterns of means, median, Q1 and Q3 across the samples compared, the Kruskal-Wallis test demonstrates that distributions significantly differ one from another, and this is especially true with the number of rooms, which seems unreliable in scraped data, compared to other datasets. The pairwise comparison shows that transactions and fiscal data, although different, are also in general more similar in Avignon. In Paris FUA, all databases show significant differences in means, for every variable. Scraped data 2019 and BIEN 2012 however show similar means, and the pairwise test does not allow to reject the null hypothesis. Such a similarity in means and median is counter intuitive, given the tremendous effect of inflation in Paris. Interpretation of the result is therefore speculative, because of the lack of comparability of price references between BIEN and DVF (Casanova Enault et al., 2019; Casanova et al., 2017). A probable elaboration on the result would be that while the central city has maintained price growth in the upper segments of price/sq meters brackets, the rest of the metropolitan area has not followed up on the inflation curve: as a consequence Q3 and the upper 1.5 IQR threshold are much higher in 2019 than in 2012, and price inflation has increased heterogeneity in the statistical distribution of prices at the level of the entire FUA.

  • 15 A more thorough analysis is currently being conducted under the ANR WIsDHoM research project, with (...)

53From this, it seems inappropriate to conclude that scraped data are representative of institutional data as an alternative data source, because of uncontrolled bias in all three data sources, that affects the pairwise comparison of data. Especially, scraped data, based on advertised transactions, are characterized by a higher variance, especially regarding the advertised price and surface, and outliers that are difficult to control for their reliability (possible errors on posted properties listings). It can be assumed that errors on price, surface and number of rooms are limited when controlled and recorded with the signature of the final deed15.

Figure 4: Sample difference analysis of transactions and advertisements, data sources on Avignon FAU (PERVAL, DVF, Scraped data) : Kruskal-Wallis test and Dunn pairwise tests significance. Significant differences between groups shown only. (boxplots: Q1, Q2 and Q3. error bars: 1.5*IQR. point: means).

Figure 4: Sample difference analysis of transactions and advertisements, data sources on Avignon FAU (PERVAL, DVF, Scraped data) : Kruskal-Wallis test and Dunn pairwise tests significance. Significant differences between groups shown only. (boxplots: Q1, Q2 and Q3. error bars: 1.5*IQR. point: means).

Sources: PERVAL 2010, 2014 ; DVF 2019; LeBonCoin 2019

Figure 5: Sample difference analysis of transactions and advertisements, data sources on Paris FAU (BIEN, DVF, Scraped data) : Kruskal-Wallis test and Dunn pairwise tests significance. Significant differences between groups shown only. (boxplots: Q1, Q2 and Q3. error bars: 1.5*IQR. point: means).

Figure 5: Sample difference analysis of transactions and advertisements, data sources on Paris FAU (BIEN, DVF, Scraped data) : Kruskal-Wallis test and Dunn pairwise tests significance. Significant differences between groups shown only. (boxplots: Q1, Q2 and Q3. error bars: 1.5*IQR. point: means).

Sources: BIEN 2010, 2012 ; DVF 2019; LeBonCoin 2019

3.5.2 Spatial coverage and missing data: interpolation

54All indicators have been delivered at the LAU2 level. But some indicators have also been delivered at a finer grain. We describe the interest and methodology required to go beyond the municipal level by aggregating and interpolating the results in a 1km INSPIRE grid. This allows to go beyond the LAU2 level which, although relevant for policy making, is basically too large for observing existing inequalities for some cities defined by large territorial units, such as Paris, Barcelona or Warsaw. Indeed, larger geographical aggregates (LAU2) poorly perform when it comes to circumscribe the local structure of housing markets and living conditions, because of the local heterogeneity of local spatial patterns. Local submarkets, segments and regimes are often constructed at more local geographical levels, and grid cells have often been considered an ad hoc solution to provide a more detailed analysis when disaggregated data sources are available.

55We followed the approach that has already been applied in the case of transactions (Guérois and Le Goix 2009; Le Goix et al. 2019). It consists in computing a synthetic value based on distance and weight of the observed population, as initially proposed by Stewart (1942) for an analysis of the distribution of student population and catchment areas of American Universities, and more recently applied for socioeconomic phenomena (Grasland 2009). We infer that property markets are discrete social data, similar to Tobler’s hypothesis (Tobler and Wineburg 1971): a potential price for a specific location is a function of distance to nearby similar transactions, and also a function of the number of properties available, turnover and realized transactions. This method removes spatial bias, resolving the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP). We apply Stewart’s potential to house price, and also to the number of sellers and buyers of each occupational category, using the SpatialPosition R package (Commenges and Giraud 2016; Commenges, Giraud, and Lambert 2016). Resulting values have been estimated negative exponential function, with a span of 5 km and a distance decay parameter of -2. An example of the resulting visualization is provided in Figure 6.

Figure 6: Property values in Barcelona, estimations at a 1 km grid cell (Advertized price per sq. m.)

Figure 6: Property values in Barcelona, estimations at a 1 km grid cell (Advertized price per sq. m.)

4 Use and possible reuse: some insights on comparing affordability indicators between cities

56We present maps and discuss some examples of the findings for a selection of FUAs, to highlight the different ways data from the ESPON Housing database can be used and compared to analyze some dimensions of affordability, for both the rental and property buyers’ markets.

4.1 Comparing advertised rental prices

57A first set of examples, in Poland, shows how the case cities (FUAs) reflect divergent paths of demographic and economic development in the last three decades, with dynamics regions i.e., Krakow and Warsaw, and on the other hand Łódź that became one of the fastest shrinking cities in Poland. On Figure 7, we compare the price of rental (scraped data), and the median national income. To clarify, the idea underlying the reference to national income being to what extent is it possible for a median household, living anywhere in Poland, to access affordable housing in any given neighborhood, in any city.

Figure 7: Affordability (rental) – national income, 2019 (Warsaw, Łódź, Krakow)

Figure 7: Affordability (rental) – national income, 2019 (Warsaw, Łódź, Krakow)

58The maps display the time required (number of days of median income) to rent 1 sq. m. The level of housing affordability generally reflects the geography of real estate offers, with lower availability in the municipalities with more expensive offers for sale and rental housing. Intriguingly, it is difficult to distinguish one common pattern for the three case cities/regions. Whereas in the Krakow region the lowest housing affordability (sales and rentals) characterizes the core city, suburban locations also show high rent-to-income ratio (low affordability) in Łódź and Warsaw. The lower housing affordability in some suburban municipalities is related to the relationship between the relative low incomes of the population that stay put, and the new wave of suburbanization bringing new housing further away from the core city. The patterns of housing affordability do not precisely fit the expected distance decay from the center, but is rather spatially structured within the three functional urban areas following a mosaic or fragmented structure; and some clusters of high and low values could also be distinguished.

4.2 The multifaceted aspects of affordability issues in Paris

59Another example of how we approached affordability can be covered with those three maps of the Paris FUA, a housing market that is considered very strong, tensed and highly unaffordable for local residents (Figure 9).

Figure 8: The variegated dimensions of affordability in Paris.

Figure 8: The variegated dimensions of affordability in Paris.

Note : a. the number of months of local income required to buy 1 sq. Meter. b. the number of days of local income to rent 1 sq.meter. c. the number of months of income to buy 1 sq. m., on the basis of French national income median. d. the difference of purchasing power in Paris in local income compared to national income (a minus c).

60The spatial structure of affordability shows very contrasted patterns in Paris, and this example offers an opportunity to highlight different ways of measuring affordability, with contrasting results.

  • Affordability measured with reference to local income shows that buying an apartment downtown Paris will cost at least 3.8 months of full income by sq. meter, this is not true in the wealthiest part (16th arrondissement), where local income offset the cost of housing. This analysis of unequal affordability is strongly driven by the effects of local income: with lower income in the North-East of the FUA, the structure of housing is more and more inaccessible to local residents (Figure 8a).

  • Rental affordability, when compared to local average income at the municipal level (Figure 8b) is highly detrimental to the population leaving in the Nord-East corridor of Paris, and generally speaking in the lower income areas of the East side of the inner suburbs.

  • Analysis of affordability with reference to the national median income tells a different story: the entire western corridor is very unaffordable on this index (above the threshold of 2 months of income by sq. m.), while the North-East and South-East sections of the FUA correspond to areas where apartments would cost between 0.8 to 1.8 months / sq. m.

  • On Figure 8d, data show what can be described as a differential accessibility, in other words the difference in purchasing power between national and local municipal incomes. This represents the difference between the financial effort of a local resident compared with the financial effort of an outsider willing to move in. While most of the Western side is rather unaffordable (purple), and out of reach for an average household based on national income, part of the region in yellow remains more or less affordable to an average household, while it is not affordable to local residents. This price-to-income spatial structure highlights how property markets pressurize the potential of ownership and decent access to housing in the inner ring of the region, in former blue-collar and now gentrifying neighborhoods especially.

4.3 Affordability in a segmented and heterogeneous rental market: Geneva and Annecy

61A last example of how we analyzed affordability in FUAs can be covered with the example of the cross-border region, with two FUAs: Geneva and Annecy. The housing market of Geneva-Annecy FUA is structured by a very segmented and heterogeneous rental market. Switzerland is a country of tenants, and ownership is significantly higher in France (59,9% in Savoie). Figure 9a shows that the centrality of Geneva does not structure the spatial distribution of rent on a center-periphery model: the average rent in the city center of Geneva is below rental prices in the surrounding LAU2. Higher income municipalities located on the south coast of the Leman lake (Cologny, Collonge-Bellerive, etc.) show in contrast higher prices: these are the locations the least affordable. Rentals are also more expensive in the French peripheral areas located on the Jura foothills (Pays de Gex: Divonne-les-Bains, Gex, Cessy, Sergy), and also on the Southern border, in the well connected, highly accessible, areas (highways) between France and Switzerland (St-Julien-en-Genevois). Such results from the dataset are counter-intuitive, as the tense situation of the rental market in Geneva city has often been commented. However, a main explanation for relatively “lower” rental prices in Switzerland is due to the institutional protection regarding tenants and rental prices evolution. This leads to another conception of inequalities and housing: where are rental markets the more profitable for landlords (Figure 9b). One common approach is to calculate how much one landlord should invest for 1 euro of rent. Peripheral areas stand as the most profitable, on average, which is an element to keep in mind when we want to address where property values are capitalized upon by owners and landlords.

Figure 9: Rental price and profitability of rental relative to property prices in the cross-border area of Geneva, Annemasse, Annecy

Figure 9: Rental price and profitability of rental relative to property prices in the cross-border area of Geneva, Annemasse, Annecy

Note : Rental profitability (b.) is measured as a ratio between advertised price for property (not displayed in the figure) and advertised price for rental offers (a.)

4.4 Comparison between FUAs: a need to go further

62To summarize the current state of the data produced, Figure 10 shows how estimates based on national income distribution vs. local income offer a very contrasting views on affordability when comparing between FUAs.

  • For lower-income households, Geneva, Warsaw, Krakow, Madrid and Barcelona are by far the least affordable FUAs for ownership, and for ownership only in Paris and Geneva FR. This is mitigated by the rental structure in Geneva, Paris and Avignon, because of regulations of the rental provision systems.

  • For median national income reference, roughly defining the pivotal middle-class, the least affordable cities are Geneva, Warsaw, and Krakow, and to some extent Paris, for ownership applicants. Rental is the least affordable in Polish and Spanish cities.

  • The high level of prices does not actually translate into an issue of “accessibility” or affordability for the 10% of the wealthiest households, but to some extent, Geneva, Warsaw, Krakow and Paris are the most exclusive markets for the wealthier part of the population, regarding ownership especially.

63One of the goals of the study was to provide a framework and some tools to bring together data from various sources. The goal of the data paper is to make this resource available broadly in a transferable and reproducible manner. The time-frame (8 months) and the resources of the study did not allow to expand the analysis to time-space dynamics of affordability, as it would require to collect and harmonize price and income across time, to amplify the scope of the database produced. This is seen as the most urgent step to take to expand this analysis. Second, with this methodological proposal, the data collected should allow to analyze the spatial patterns of inequalities stemming from unequal capitalization of housing wealth some areas, vs. vulnerability of households in others, to better link the analysis to the body of work on the variegated forms of financialization of housing in Europe. The collection of other case-studies, with a variety of situation, would help to compare and characterize some of the inequalities that structure access to housing in European cities. These are the future steps for investigation, and hopefully to soon complement the data provided.

Figure 10: Time required to buy 1sq. meter (2019) – Webscraped data and income.

Figure 10: Time required to buy 1sq. meter (2019) – Webscraped data and income.

Note: In Geneva, 2.2 months of income are required to buy 1sq. m for people living in the FUA (local income). Enlarging the analysis to people living in Switzerland (national income), 7 months of income are required for the poorest (first decile of national income), 3.6 months for median income households and 2 months for the richest (ninth decile)

5 Dataset description

5.1 Language

64English

5.2 Spatial coverage

  1. FUAs and core cities. Data delivery includes two datasets on European cities (967 core cities and 676 Functional Urban Areas, FUAs). It covers the indicators available on Eurostat, which are relevant for analyzing housing issues and characteristics. These indicators have been used in the project to contextualize the 10 case-study cities, bench marked with other European cities.

  2. Detailed data have been collected and harmonized for 10 case-studies in selected cities in France, Poland, Spain and Switzerland, defined by Functional Urban Areas delineations. All indicators are available at LAU2 level version 2011 (https://ec.europa.eu/​eurostat/​fr/​web/​nuts/​local-administrative-units). The indicators are also provided at the European grid level (EU 1KM GRID, GEOSTAT 2011), depending on data availability

    • Paris, FR

    • Avignon, FR

    • Warsaw, PL

    • Łódź,PL

    • Krakow, PL

    • Madrid, SP

    • Barcelona, SP

    • Palma de Mallorca, SP

    • Geneva transnational area CH, including Annecy and Annemasse, FR

65Datasets includes missing values. It corresponds generally to data gap, for instance in peripheral territorial units, less populated areas, and places with no transaction or available housing unit on property/rental markets.

5.3 Files, formats and content

66Data files have been released according to ESPON EGTC standards, on the ESPON database system. All datasets are provided with complete metadata. Two series of outputs are made available.

5.3.1 Selected Eurostat indicators, Main Data

67The following files contain original Eurostat indicators and metadata for cities and FUAs

  • main-data/ind_1352_ho_diff_csv.zip: Housing survey: is it easy to find good housing in your city? - "Strongly disagree" (HO_DIFF)

  • main-data/ind_1351_ho_easy_csv.zip: Housing survey: is it easy to find good housing in your city? - "Strongly agree" (HO_EASY)

  • main-data/ind_1323_emp_est_csv.zip: Employment (share) - in real estate activities (EMP_EST)

  • main-data/ind_1322_emp_hot_csv.zip: Employment (share) - in restauration, hotels and transports (EMP_HOT)

  • main-data/ind_1321_emp_inds_csv.zip: Employment (share) - in Industry (EMP_INDS)

  • main-data/ind_1313_pp65sp_csv.zip: Population (total) - age group 65+ (Pp65sp)

  • main-data/ind_1312_pp4564_csv.zip: Population (total) - age group 45-64 (Pp4564)

  • main-data/ind_1311_pp2544_csv.zip: Population (total) - age group 25-44 (Pp2544)

  • main-data/ind_1304_pp0024_csv.zip: Population (total) - age group 0-24 (Pp0024)

  • main-data/ind_1276_beds_csv.zip: Beds per resident population (BEDS)

  • main-data/ind_1275_nights_csv.zip: Nights in tourist accomodation (NIGHTS)

  • main-data/ind_1274_wf_hedu_csv.zip: Educational attainment level (share of age group 25-64 at level 5 to 8 ISCED - %) (WF_HEDU)

  • main-data/ind_1273_st_hedu_csv.zip: Students in higher education (‰) (ST_HEDU)

  • main-data/ind_1269_unemp_csv.zip: Unemployment rate (%) (UNEMP)

  • main-data/ind_1268_ho_own_csv.zip: Households owning their own dwelling (%) (HO_OWN)

  • main-data/ind_1267_ho_sing_csv.zip: Single households (%) (HO_SING)

  • main-data/ind_1266_ho_size_csv.zip: Average size of households (HO_SIZE)

  • main-data/ind_1265_ho_area_csv.zip: Housing size (average size of dwellings) (HO_AREA)

  • main-data/ind_1260_pop_csv.zip: Population (total) (POP)

5.3.2 Aggregated and harmonized data

68The following data files contains compiled Eurostat indicators for 967 core cities and 676 FUAs.

  • Housing European indicators - FUA: other-data/FUA_DB_41llvVF.xlsx: Housing_Europe_FUA

  • Housing European indicators - Core cities: other-data/Core_cities_DB_bT7w9TL.xlsx: Housing_Europe_Core_Cities

69The following data files contains collected and harmonized data describing affordability and housing markets, at LAU2 and EU 1KM GRID levels.

  • Housing indicators - Avignon (FR) : other-data/Indicators_AVIGNON_8V0nlBU.xls: Housing_Avignon

  • Housing indicators - Geneva (CH-FR) : other-data/Indicators_GENEVA_MyrppRg.xls: Housing_Geneva

  • Housing indicators - Warsaw - Łódź - Krakow (PL) : other-data/Indicators_POLAND_0gGnhNs.xls: Housing_Warsaw_Krakow_Lodz

  • Housing indicators - Madrid (ES) : other-data/Indicators_MADRID_5vfODLL.xls: Housing_Madrid

  • Housing indicators - Palma (ES) : other-data/Indicators_PALMA_vZQZpRB.xls: Housing_Palma

  • Housing indicators - Paris (FR) : other-data/Indicators_PARIS_CukwCI7.xls: Housing_Paris

6 Creation date

70June 2020

Supplemental Materials

71A reproducible example, on the Barcelona case-study, is provided as an HTML RMarkdown document at the following URL (permanent data repository): https://nakala.fr/​10.34847/​nkl.aaea911g

Acknowledgements

72This paper was prepared under the ESPON project, "Big Data for Territorial Analysis and Housing Dynamics - Wellbeing of European citizens regarding the affordability of housing", which is gratefully acknowledged.

73The transactions BIEN proprietary database was made available by Paris Notaire Service, on the behalf of the Chamber of the Notaries, under an agreement contracted by the LabEx DynamiTe (ANR-11-LABX-0046) consortium and the Univ. Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne. Data provided by the INSEE (1 km grid) contains public sector information, made available under ©INSEE, 2013.

74Mattia Mazzoli is funded by the Conselleria d’Innovació, Recerca i Turisme of the Government of the Balearic Islands and the European Social Fund with grant code FPI/2090/2018. J.J.R., M.M. and P.C. also acknowledge funding from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, the AEI and FEDER (EU) under the grant PACSS (RTI2018-093732-B-C22) and the Maria de Maeztu program for Units of Excellence in R&D (MDM-2017-0711).

75And infinite thanks to the Menthonnex 2019 #AcWri team: “We have opened the space for writing. Let’s make it hospitable”. The usual disclaimers apply.

Haut de page

Bibliographie

Aalbers M., 2016, The financialization of housing : a political economy approach, London ; New York, NY, Routledge Taytor and Francis Group.

André C., and Chalaux T., 2018, "Construire une typologie des systèmes de logement pour éclairer les politiques des Etats membres de l’OCDE et de l’UE", Économie et Statistique, No. 500-501-502.

Arbaci S., 2007, "Ethnic Segregation, Housing Systems and Welfare Regimes in Europe", European Journal of Housing Policy, Vol.7, No.4, 401-433.

Beresewicz M., 2015, "On the representativeness of Internet Data Sources for the Real Estate Market in Poland", Austrian Journal of Statistics, Vol.44, No.April 2015, 45-57.

Boulay G., Blanke D., Casanova Enault L., and Granié A., 2020, "Moving from Market Opacity to Methodological Opacity: Are Web Data Good Enough for French Property Market Monitoring?", The Professional Geographer, 1-16. 10.1080/00330124.2020.1824678

Boyer R., 2009, "Feu le régime d’accumulation tiré par la finance", Journal, No.5 | 1er semestre 2009. http://regulation.revues.org/7367.

Byrne M., 2020, "Generation rent and the financialization of housing: a comparative exploration of the growth of the private rental sector in Ireland, the UK and Spain", Housing Studies, Vol.35, No.4, 743-765.

Casanova Enault L., Boulay G., and Coulon M., 2019, " Une aubaine pour les géographes ? Intérêts des fichiers open DVF sur les transactions foncières et immobilières et précautions d’usage", Cybergeo : European Journal of Geography, No.925.

Casanova L., Boulay G., Gérard Y., and Yahi L., 2017, "Deux bases de données, aucune référence de prix. Comment observer les prix immobiliers en France avec Dvf et Perval ?", Revue d’économie régionale et urbaine, Vol.Octobre, No.4, 711-732. 10.3917/reru.174.0711

Cebeillac A., and Rey-Coyrehourcq S., 2019, "Webscraping : enjeux techniques et éthiques" In Données individuelles localisées : enjeux juridiques, éthiques et techniques à l’heure du RGPD. Paris, France.

Commenges H., and Giraud T., 2016, "Introduction to the SpatialPosition package", Cran, Accessed 2016-08-14. https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/SpatialPosition/vignettes/SpatialPosition.html.

Commenges H., Giraud T., and Lambert N., 2016, "ESPON FIT: Functional Indicators for Spatial-Aware Policy-Making", Cartographica: The International Journal for Geographic Information and Geovisualization, Vol.51, No.3, 127-136.

Fernandez R., and Aalbers M., B, 2016, "Financialization and housing: Between globalization and Varieties of Capitalism", Competition and Change, Vol.20, No.2, 71-88. 10.1177/1024529415623916

Friggit J., 2017, "Prix immobilier - Evolution 1200 - 2017", CGEDD, Conseil Général de l’Environnement et du Développement Durable, Accessed Sept. 2015. http://www.cgedd.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/prix-immobilier-evolution-1200-a1048.html.

Gallotti R., Louail T., Louf R., and Barthélémy M., 2015, "Big data: a new perspective on cities.", in Cui S., Hero A., Luo Z.-Q. and Moura J. (dir.), Big Data over Networks., Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press.

Grasland C., 2009, "Spatial analysis of social facts. A tentative theoretical framework derived from tobler's first law of geography and blau's multilevel structural theory of society", in Bavaud F. and Mager C. (dir.), Handbook of Quantitative Geography, University of Lausanne.

Guérois M., and Le Goix R., 2009, "La dynamique spatio-temporelle des prix immobiliers à différentes échelles : le cas des appartements anciens à Paris (1990-2003)", Journal, Vol.470, 25 p. http://www.cybergeo.eu/index22644.html; 10.4000/cybergeo.22644

Hochstenbach C., and Ronald R., 2020, "The unlikely revival of private renting in Amsterdam: Re-regulating a regulated housing market", Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space.

Julliard C., and Gusarova M., 2019, "Real estate data in Europe and the US" In, 40 p., iread, LIFTI, PUCA and Urbanics.

Kemeny J., 2001, "Comparative housing and welfare: Theorising the relationship", Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, Vol.16, No.1, 53-70.

Kim K.-H., and Renaud B., 2009, "The Global House Price Boom and its Unwinding: An Analysis and a Commentary", Housing Studies, Vol.24, No.1, 7-24. 10.1080/02673030802550128

Kitchin R., 2013, "Big data and human geography: Opportunities, challenges and risks.", Dialogues in Human Geography, Vol.3, No.3, 262-267.

Kohl S., 2018, "More Mortgages, More Homes? The Effect of Housing Financialization on Homeownership in Historical Perspective", Politics and Society, Vol.46, No.2, 177-203.

Le Goix R., Casanova Enault L., Bonneval L., Le Corre T., Benites E., Boulay G., Kutz W., Aveline N., Migozzi J., and Ysebaert R., 2021, "Housing (In)equity and the Spatial Dynamics of Homeownership in France: A Research Agenda", Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie, Vol.112, No.1, 62-80. 10.1111/tesg.12460

Le Goix R., Giraud T., Cura R., Le Corre T., and Migozzi J., 2019, "Who sells to whom in the suburbs? Home price inflation and the dynamics of sellers and buyers in the metropolitan region of Paris, 1996-2012", PLoS ONE, Vol.14, No.3.

Le Goix R., and Vesselinov E., 2014, "Inequality Shaping Processes and Gated Communities in US Western Metropolitan Areas", Urban Studies, 20 p. 10.1177/0042098014532555

Longley P. A., Adnan M., and Lansley G., 2015, "The Geotemporal Demographics of Twitter Usage", Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, Vol.47, No.2, 465-484.

Malpass P., 2011, "Path Dependence and the Measurement of Change in Housing Policy", Housing, Theory and Society, Vol.28, No.4, 305-319. 10.1080/14036096.2011.554852

Oecd, 2018, "Affordable Housing Database" In, edited by Oecd.

Rey-Coyrehourcq S., 2018, "Ethics and webscraping", Accessed 2020/04/22. https://hackmd.io/g9JrWURjTHyLr9EWQqKoiQ?view.

Rolnik R., 2013, "Late Neoliberalism: The Financialization of Homeownership and Housing Rights", International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Vol.37, No.3, 1058-1066.

Ronald R., 2008, The ideology of home ownership : homeowner societies and the role of housing, Basingstoke ; New York, Palgrave Macmillan.

Ruths D., and Pfeffer J., 2014, "Social media for large studies of behavior", Science, Vol.346, No.6213.

Schwartz H., 2012, "Housing, the Welfare State, and the Global Financial Crisis: What is the Connection?", Politics and Society, Vol.40, No.1, 35-58.

Schwartz H. M., and Seabrooke L., 2009, The politics of housing booms and busts, Basingstoke ; New York, Palgrave Macmillan.

Shelton T., Poorthui A., and Zook M., 2015, "Social media and the city: rethinking urban socio-spatial inequality using user-generated geographic information", Landscape and urban planning, Vol.forthcoming, 1-23.

Stewart J. Q., 1942, "A Measure of the Influence of a Population at a Distance", Sociometry, Vol.5, No.1, 63-71.

Tammaru T., Marcin´Czak S., Aunap R., Van Ham M., and Janssen H., 2019, "Relationship between income inequality and residential segregation of socioeconomic groups", Regional Studies, 1-12.

Theurillat T., Rérat P., and Crevoisier O., 2015, "The real estate markets: Players, institutions and territories", Urban Studies, Vol.52, No.8, 1414-1433.

Tighe R., and Mueller E., 2012, Affordable Housing Reader, Routledge.

Tobler W., and Wineburg S., 1971, "A Cappadocian Speculation", Nature, Vol.231, No.5297,

Topalov C., 1987, Le logement en France. Histoire d’une marchandise impossible, Paris, Presses de la Fondation nationale des sciences politiques.

Van Gent W. P. C., 2010, "Housing Policy as a Lever for Change? The Politics of Welfare, Assets and Tenure", Housing Studies, Vol.25, No.5, 735-753.

Wijburg G., 2019, "Privatised Keynesianism and the state-enhanced diversification of credit: the case of the French housing market", International Journal of Housing Policy, Vol.19, No.2, 143-164.

Haut de page

Notes

1 "Housing affordability across European cities Dynamics" [dataset] (2020). Nakala, DOI : 10.34847/nkl.aaea911g (on line : https://nakala.fr/10.34847/nkl.aaea911g)

2 International Monetary Fund, 2012, Growth Resuming, Dangers Remain, World Economic Outloook. Word Econonic and Financial Survey. Online : https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2012/01/. Last accessed: July 30, 2020.

3 This data review has been realized by available team members with specific local expertise. Three additional countries have also been surveyed in the ESPON Project, without delivering the potential for case-study selection : Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

4 DVF has been released at the end of the project funding scheme, and has therefore not been included in the research.

5 As noted by Julliard and Gusarova (2019), many other sources are also available online : “property sale prices are supplied by the Fnaim (Fédération nationale de l’immobilier, a real estate agent trade association set up in 1995), meilleursAgents (an intermediation platform linking individuals and real estate agents set up in 2008), LPI-Seloger (Les Prix de l’immobilier Se loger, an observatory partnership set up in 2009) and Yanport (a start-up offering competitive watch tools for real estate agents and property developers set up in 2015). Together they cover existing properties more specifically but also offer reference data on new builds. The rental market, meanwhile, is specifically covered by Clameur (a private observatory set up in 2006) and by the network of local public observatories (since 2014)” (Julliard and Gusarova, 2019).

6 Supplemental material: Building ESPON Housing harmonized indicators, a reproducible example (`data_paper_housing.html`), in "Big Data for Territorial Analysis and Housing Dynamics" (2020). Nakala, DOI : 10.34847/nkl.aaea911g (on line : https://nakala.fr/10.34847/nkl.aaea911g)

7 ESPON EGTC Big Data for Territorial Analysis: Housing Dynamics. Final report - Guidance Document. Paris: UMS RIATE - ESPON EGTC, (11/2019), online : (https://www.espon.eu/sites/default/files/attachments/ESPON\%20Big\%20Data-Guidance_Document.pdf)

8 EU-SILC 2020 release: version 1 released in March 2020 and containing cross-sectional data up to 2018 and longitudinal data up to 2018: https://doi.org/10.2907/EUSILC2004-2018V.1.

9 Note on legal and ethical considerations regarding webscraping. According to a legal review of conducted by Rey-Coyrehourcq (2018); Cebeillac and Rey-Coyrehourcq (2019):
"While the content of the internet platforms has various status, private, public, open sourced or crowd-sourced (internet users themselves write and post information, e.g. about housing or travel experience in the case of Airbnb), it has a complicated legal status: the information is publicly available in pieces on the website, but its automated collection is forbidden in most cases, and can give rise to serious legal issues (see the LinkedIn vs. Doe case)." (Rey-Coyrehourcq, 2018)
To assess the legal risk for harvesting real-estate data, some recent cases have been reviewed. InsideAirbnb.com, for instance, has been under scrutiny of scholars and data journalists. The feasibility of data harvesting lays in grey areas, as Cebeillac and Rey-Coyrehourcq, 2019 insist. In Europe and in France, implementation of GDPR opened the possibilities for scraping and harvesting data for research, under waivers listed in article 6 of GDPR. Data used in this report are exempt of the provisions of the GDPR, as dataset do not derive from personal data (Article 9 of GDPR). Generally speaking, the dissemination of such a database using scraped data elaborates on the grounds that researchers benefit from a number of legal exemptions regarding the goal of research, purpose, data storage. This matter is currently under constant scrutiny and has been examined in the unpublished 2019 workshop organized by CIST (online:
https://cist.cnrs.fr/donnees-individuelles-localisees-enjeux-juridiques-ethiques-et-techniques-a-lheure-du-rgpd/) and https://j-infter2019.sciencesconf.org/data/pages/Intervention_RIATE_Donnees_geolocalisation.pdf, last accessed July 30, 2020).
One precedent legal case in France has been settled by the CNIL (National Commission on Informatics and Liberties), the supersizing authority authorizes the collection of data, including sensitive data, on social networks (request from LORIA), for the purpose of research activities:
https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichCnil.do?id=CNILTEXT000036945250 (last accessed July 30, 2020).

10 The cost and duration of the project allowed only for test drives and a few months of collection, and some test platforms. A script is generally valid for one real estate website or data originator only, considering the fact that they are coded and tagged following proprietary procedures. It is also not uncommon that web market-places change the layout and structuring of the information to avoid scraping and bots, therefore requiring a constant monitoring effort: the tags used in the script, in such cases, have to be re-written. Such an iterative procedure is hand-made, highly artisanal, and requires qualified, therefore costly, work-force.

11 For instance, a 2019 workshop organized by the JRC (the Joint Research Center is a European Commission’s service) and the City of Amsterdam (Amsterdam, Feb 18-19, 2019, “EU cities and the financialization of the housing market”) gathered European experts and offered insights on how to study, compare and propose coherent indicators on affordability in Europe. This panel of policy experts and data analysts agreed that statistics such as price-to-income ratio (PIR) are among the most valuable harmonized indicators to elaborate policies on unequal housing markets, as they present many advantages.

12 The HousingStat function is delivered as part of the Supplemental Materials, section 2, on the data repository.

13 The unit for these paramaters is the LAU and not the individual level.

14 Representativeness of transaction database have been evaluated in 2002 (David et al., 2002), and the authors of the study estimated as 79% in the Paris region in 2001 and varied between 20 and 80% in other cities in France. A decree, passed in 2013, has reinforced the mandatory data transmission from notarial offices, which is now considered as consistent, although incomplete (Casanova et al., 2017)

15 A more thorough analysis is currently being conducted under the ANR WIsDHoM research project, with recent extracts of PERVAL and BIEN, and access to the restricted version of DVF data, with results expected in 2021. More online, http://wisdhom.hypotheses.org.

Haut de page

Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1: Overview of the methodology (workflow).
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/36478/img-1.png
Fichier image/png, 184k
Titre Figure 2: Overview of case-study FUAs (% of owned dwellings 2010 and Eurostat’s data gaps).
Légende Note : Names and blue outlines indicate case-studies (functional urban areas).
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/36478/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 304k
Titre Figure 3: Statistical distribution of case-studies in the ESPON Housing database, and sample difference analysis where both institutional and scraped ISP sources available: Kruskal-Wallis test and Dunn pairwise tests significance. Significant differences between groups shown only. Name of variables are the same as in the distributed database (boxplots: Q1, Q2 and Q3. error bars: 1.5*IQR. point: means).
Crédits Source: ESPON Big Data for Territorial Analysis and Housing Dynamics, UMS RIATE, 2019
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/36478/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 204k
Titre Figure 4: Sample difference analysis of transactions and advertisements, data sources on Avignon FAU (PERVAL, DVF, Scraped data) : Kruskal-Wallis test and Dunn pairwise tests significance. Significant differences between groups shown only. (boxplots: Q1, Q2 and Q3. error bars: 1.5*IQR. point: means).
Crédits Sources: PERVAL 2010, 2014 ; DVF 2019; LeBonCoin 2019
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/36478/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 112k
Titre Figure 5: Sample difference analysis of transactions and advertisements, data sources on Paris FAU (BIEN, DVF, Scraped data) : Kruskal-Wallis test and Dunn pairwise tests significance. Significant differences between groups shown only. (boxplots: Q1, Q2 and Q3. error bars: 1.5*IQR. point: means).
Crédits Sources: BIEN 2010, 2012 ; DVF 2019; LeBonCoin 2019
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/36478/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 128k
Titre Figure 6: Property values in Barcelona, estimations at a 1 km grid cell (Advertized price per sq. m.)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/36478/img-6.png
Fichier image/png, 249k
Titre Figure 7: Affordability (rental) – national income, 2019 (Warsaw, Łódź, Krakow)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/36478/img-7.png
Fichier image/png, 345k
Titre Figure 8: The variegated dimensions of affordability in Paris.
Légende Note : a. the number of months of local income required to buy 1 sq. Meter. b. the number of days of local income to rent 1 sq.meter. c. the number of months of income to buy 1 sq. m., on the basis of French national income median. d. the difference of purchasing power in Paris in local income compared to national income (a minus c).
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/36478/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 432k
Titre Figure 9: Rental price and profitability of rental relative to property prices in the cross-border area of Geneva, Annemasse, Annecy
Légende Note : Rental profitability (b.) is measured as a ratio between advertised price for property (not displayed in the figure) and advertised price for rental offers (a.)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/36478/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 192k
Titre Figure 10: Time required to buy 1sq. meter (2019) – Webscraped data and income.
Légende Note: In Geneva, 2.2 months of income are required to buy 1sq. m for people living in the FUA (local income). Enlarging the analysis to people living in Switzerland (national income), 7 months of income are required for the poorest (first decile of national income), 3.6 months for median income households and 2 months for the richest (ninth decile)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/36478/img-10.png
Fichier image/png, 68k
Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence électronique

Renaud Le Goix, Ronan Ysebaert, Timothée Giraud, Marc Lieury, Guilhem Boulay, Mathieu Coulon, Sébastien Rey-Coyrehourcq, Rémi Lemoy, José J. Ramasco, Mattia Mazzoli, Pere Colet, Thierry Theurillat, Alain Segessemann, Szymon Marcińczak et Bartosz Bartosiewicz, « Unequal housing affordability across European cities. The ESPON Housing Database, Insights on Affordability in Selected Cities in Europe », Cybergeo : European Journal of Geography [En ligne], Data papers, document 974, mis en ligne le 16 avril 2021, consulté le 14 mai 2021. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/36478 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/cybergeo.36478

Haut de page

Auteurs

Renaud Le Goix

Corresponding author : Professeur de géographie à l’université de Paris, UMS 2414 RIATE, UMR 8504 Géographie-cités, France, renaud.legoix@u-paris.fr, https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9643-9533

Articles du même auteur

Ronan Ysebaert

Ingénieur d’études en sciences de l’information géographique à l’UMS 2414 RIATE, Université de Paris, France, ronan.ysebaert@cnrs.fr, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7344-5911

Timothée Giraud

Ingénieur d’études en sciences de l’information géographique à l’UMS 2414 RIATE, CNRS, Université de Paris, France, timothee.giraud@cnrs.fr, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1932-3323

Articles du même auteur

Marc Lieury

Ingénieur d’études en sciences de l’information géographique à l’UMS 2414 RIATE, France, lieurym@gmail.com

Guilhem Boulay

Maître de conférences en géographie à l’université d’Avignon, UMR 7300 ESPACE, France, guilhem.boulay@univ-avignon.fr

Articles du même auteur

Mathieu Coulon

Ingénieur d'études en traitement, analyse et représentation de l'information spatiale à l’UMR 7300 ESPACE, CNRS, Université d’Avignon, France, mathieu.coulon@univ-avignon.fr

Articles du même auteur

Sébastien Rey-Coyrehourcq

Ingénieur de Recherche à l’UMR 6266 IDEES, CNRS, Université de Rouen, France, sebastien.rey-coyrehourcq@univ-rouen.fr, https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7296-9695

Rémi Lemoy

Maître de conférence en géographie à l’UMR 6266 IDEES, CNRS, Université de Rouen, France, remi.lemoy@univ-rouen.fr, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0396-9488

Articles du même auteur

José J. Ramasco

Chercheur au Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. Instituto de Fisica Interdisciplinar y Sistemas Complejos IFISC, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, jramasco@ifisc.uib-csic.es, http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2499-6095

Mattia Mazzoli

Chercheur au Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. Instituto de Fisica Interdisciplinar y Sistemas Complejos IFISC, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, mattia@ifisc.uib-csic.es, http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8756-5535

Pere Colet

Chercheur au au Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. Instituto de Fisica Interdisciplinar y Sistemas Complejos IFISC, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, pere@ifisc.uib-csic.es, http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5992-6292

Thierry Theurillat

Chercheur et enseignant à l'Institut du management des villes et du territoire (IMVT) de la Haute Ecole de Gestion Arc (HEG-Arc), HES-SO, Switzerland, thierry.theurillat@he-arc.ch, http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2079-0751

Alain Segessemann

Chercheur et enseignant à l'Institut du management des villes et du territoire (IMVT) de la Haute Ecole de Gestion Arc (HEG-Arc), HES-SO, Switzerland, alain.segessemann@he-arc.ch, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8546-5645

Szymon Marcińczak

Professeur associé à l’Institute of Urban Geography and Tourism Studies, University of Łódź, Poland, szymon.marcinczak@geo.uni.lodz.pl, http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5548-5816

Bartosz Bartosiewicz

Professeur Assistant à l’Institute of Urban Geography and Tourism Studies, University of Łódź, Poland, bartosz.bartosiewicz@geo.uni.lodz.pl, http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8745-5910

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur

Licence Creative Commons
La revue Cybergeo est mise à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.

Haut de page
Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search