Networks, Space and Competitiveness

Networks, Space and Competitiveness

Evolving Challenges for Sustainable Growth

Edited by Roberta Capello and Tomaz Ponce Dentinho

The expert contributors illustrate that sources of regional competitiveness are strongly linked with spatially observable yet increasingly flexible realities, and include building advanced and efficient transport, communications and energy networks, changing urban and rural landscapes, and creating strategic and forward-looking competitiveness policies. They investigate long-term interactions between regional competitiveness and urban mobility, as well as the connections that link global sustainability with local technological and institutional innovations, and the intrinsic diversity of spatially rooted innovation processes. A prospective analysis on networks and innovation infrastructure is presented, global environmental issues such as climate change and energy are explored, and new policy perspectives – relevant world-wide – are prescribed.

Chapter 7: Methods and models of analysis in the urban housing market

João Lourenço Marques, Eduardo Anselmo Castro and Arnab Bhattacharjee

Subjects: economics and finance, regional economics, urban and regional studies, regional economics


In modern economies the housing market and related industrial sectors play important roles in regional and national economic growth – when major changes take place in these markets they often have impacts on other sectors and consequently on the welfare of the population. The impacts of the housing market are visible both at the macro and micro levels in three distinct areas of the economy: (i) in the production system, (ii) in household expenditure, and (iii) in urban and regional planning. In the production system, the housing sector has significant multiplier effects on employment, output and investment, resulting from its relationship to a vast commodity chain. The housing market is a major element in the composition of national income in modern economies. For example, in the United States, housing construction and related services represented about 14 per cent of GDP in 2001 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2001); in Portugal, housing investment accounted for 18 per cent of gross fixed capital formation in 2003 and equivalent figures for Spain and the European Union were 29 and 25 per cent, respectively (Eurostat – Statistical Office of the European Union). In household expenditure, the residence represents the most valuable single asset owned by most individuals, and a very large share of household wealth. The share of income spent on housing represents a very large fraction of total expenditure and a permanent source of direct expenses (rent, interest rate and amortization, repair and restoration, and so on) and indirect costs (energy, water, telecommunications, furniture and other domestic goods, and so on).

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