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Real Estate & Planning Research Seminar by Associate Professor Edward Yiu from Auckland University Business School "The heterogeneous impacts of widespread upzoning: Lessons from Auckland, New Zealand

Edward Yiu
Event information
Date 13 March 2024
Time 12:00-13:00 (Timezone: Europe/London)
Venue Henley Business School
Event types:

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Bio: Edward Yiu is the Disciplinary Area Lead for Property and Associate Professor at University of Auckland Business School. His research focus is on Urban Economics, Retail Management and Housing Issues. He has developed the Spatial Portfolio Theory and the Retail Tenant Mix Model. By profession, He is a Fellow member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a member of the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors, and was the elected candidate representing the Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape Functional Constituency in the Hong Kong Legislative Council in 2016.

Abstract: Zoning reform is increasingly recognised as an important strategy to increase housing affordability and environmental sustainability. Few cities have undertaken significant upzoning of low-density neighbourhoods, making the 2016 Auckland Unitary Plan (AUP) probably the most ambitious zoning reform in the world. Parcels zoned for single houses previously dominated Auckland, but three-quarters of them now allow multiple units. Existing studies have documented the building boom that followed this zoning reform, yet the relatively rare case offers additional insights. In this article, we use appraisal, census and zoning data on over 200,000 parcels in Auckland to answer three research questions about the heterogeneous impacts of the AUP. First, to what extent did upzoning increase the appraised value of properties’ redevelopment options? Second, did upzoning increase appraised property values to a greater degree in higher-income and more centrally located neighbourhoods? Finally, was zoning reform in Auckland significantly influenced by similar political pressures as in other countries? That is, was upzoning less likely (and downzoning more likely) in higher-income neighbourhoods? The answers to these three questions are substantially, it’s complicated, and yes.