Net attraction framework — a way of evaluating real estate

Andrew Burleson, an economic development consultant in Houston, Texas, has come up with a new way of describing the relationship between urbanism and property values. Burleson’s nomenclature — structure, conduit, and interface — sounds technical and intriguing. It could easily apply to computer systems, but in this case relates to real estate.

Very similar structures substantially diverge in value — an idea encapsulated by the phrase “location, location, location.” Burleson takes this concept a few steps further. The “interface” of a property — the adjacent public space that is safe for people — is the most important factor in value.

“I began to notice that there was a consistent pattern evident in the most valuable and successful properties around the United States. Every place that was extremely valuable was packed full of people – excepting of course places (like Central Park) where some government intervention is preventing people from living. At this point I connected some dots from the business / finance world that in hindsight were quite obvious: the sale of real property is basically an auction, and the way to drive up prices (value) at an auction is to get more bidders. So, the more people want to be someplace, the more valuable it is going to be. Put another way, more attraction = more value.”

Also: “One very interesting pattern began to emerge in the neighborhood I was living in at the time – developments which had better interface tended to spark much more subsequent revitalization around them than developments that did not. The problem was finding a specific example that was similar enough in other ways that the difference of the Interface would be clearly apparent.”

Posted by Robert Steuteville on 11 Sep 2010