The price of housing attributes
The hedonistic price method can be used to estimate the price of a dwelling's different attributes (size, comfort, surrounding and distant environment, etc.) based on its total price. Such prices are estimated for private rented dwellings in towns, their suburbs and their periurban belt («urban areas») in 1996. For example, rent is strongly influenced by the dwelling's inhabitable space and plumbing. The building's characteristics (block of flats or private house, date built and state) also play an important role. The dwelling's most important «extrinsic» attributes are accessibility to an employment centre and the social quality of the neighbourhood. However, households would appear to underestimate the real cost of being removed from the centre. The other local amenities or negative aspects (crime, noise, pollution, rural amenities, etc.) have a lesser or no influence. Building wear and tear has more effect on the rent than noise or crime, which are far from being as important as expected. Lastly, the income elasticity of demand for living space is greater than that for accessibility: when faced with a choice between the cost of accessibility and the need for space, well-off households prefer the latter and favour locations on town outskirts.