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Landholders, Residential Land Conversion, and Market Signals

In some metropolitan real estate markets, large land dealers
considerably influence the conversion of land for residential
use. Their activities may affect the timing, direction, and type
of new development. This study uses the Cleveland, Ohio
metropolitan region to consider whether large landholders
play a major role in residential land conversion in suburban
markets and the extent to which their actions are driven by
market signals.

The findings indicate that large holders of raw land targeted
to residential conversion do sell, subdivide, and develop
land parcels in response to definitive market signals that
foreshadow housing demand. They are most active in
jurisdictions that from 1990 to 2000 showed strong
population and housing growth. Increasing growth
rates have affected the zoning, platting, and densities
of residential development; increased the number of
permits issued for new construction; raised average
housing resale prices; and increased the average amounts
of home mortgages. Where favorable conditions prevail,
the price of raw land exceeds the holding price, justifying
sale and subdivision. Large land dealers respond to
market signals by releasing land in expectation of

Landholders, Residential Land Conversion, and Market Signals
Harry L. Margulis (2006)
Opolis: An International Journal of Suburban and Metropolitan Studies:
Vol. 2: No. 1, Article 2.


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