Authors: Andrew Haughwout, James Orr, and David Bedoll
The price of vacant land in an urban area is a fundamental indicator of an area’s attractiveness. However, because the value of vacant land is hard to measure, indirect methods are typically used to gauge prices. A more direct approach to measuring land prices, using a unique data set, reveals that the price of unimproved land in the New York area is high, and rose sharply from 1999 to 2006. The rising trend suggests the underlying strength of the area’s economy and the increasing value of the area’s productivity and amenities.