The longstanding issue of discrimination and segregation in housing markets has enveloped housing market analysis and particularly the understanding of house price determination. Whilst the relationship of segregation in residential space is diverse and encompasses numerous taxonomies, in Northern Ireland, the high level of market segregation is compounded by the addition of tactile barriers such as Peace walls. The existence of these tactile barriers serves to physically segregate communities and have the capacity to prevent the restoration of normal community interactions and market processes. This paper attempts to quantify and measure the disamenity implications and costs of these hard structures on segregated communities. It achieves this by measuring the pricing effect of peace walls within segregated market areas within the Belfast housing market employing a hedonic pricing approach using data obtained from 3,836 house sales transactions over a one year period in 2014. The findings emerging from the research demonstrate that peace walls have clearly had a more detrimental and adverse effect on the consistency and application of policy and practice. Indeed, the existence of the peace walls appear to have occasioned or facilitated differential practices in housing strategies either ‘side of the wall’. The results show a clear differential distance decay effect limiting market and efficiency opportunities.

Author Bio(s)

Dr. John McCord

Is a Lecturer in Law at Ulster University. John gained a 1st Class LLB (Hons) from Ulster University in 2006 and PhD in Law from Ulster University in 2010. Since then, John has undertaken a wide range of published research in the property and law fields, with a particular emphasis on housing markets performance and analysis, property tax, energy efficiency, compulsory purchase and ethno-religious conflict. He has also been successful in a number of European Commission funded projects and also reviews papers for a number of international property journals.

Dr. Michael McCord

Is a Reader in Property Market Research and within the School of the Built Environment. He attended Queens University attaining his primary degree BSc (Hons) in Geography with Economics and a PhD in Property from the School of the Built Environment, University of Ulster, and winning Best PhD Thesis in School of the Built Environment (2010). His principal teaching areas are in the fields of urban land economics, real estate analysis and econometrics, property finance and statistical analysis and capital markets and portfolio analysis. He is a Member of the European Real Estate Society (ERES), American Real Estate Society (ARES), Pacific Rim Real Estate Society (PRRES) and the Association of Geographical Information (UK). In addition to his academic commitments Michael has been involved in internationally based work in Kosovo where he advised key stakeholders on issues pertaining to Business valuation on behalf of the European Bank (Business Advisory Services) and the Dubai government pertaining to property analysis and performance. At the regional level, Michael has also been involved in advisory services for local Housing Associations.

Dr. Peadar Davis

Is a Chartered Surveyor employed by the University of Ulster to lecture on and research into Real Estate issues, notably appraisal and asset management. Peadar obtained a BSc (Hons) in Geography at the University of Ulster, and holds two Masters qualifications from Exeter (MA in Tourism & Social Responsibility) and Aberdeen (Masters in Land Economy), and A PhD in Property Taxation from the University of Ulster. He has been involved in a wide range of research and consultancy activities. These include research into Local Government finance and property taxation policy in several jurisdictions including Northern Ireland, where he was part of a small team advising on the rating reform process, the Review of Public Administration (RPA) and the Bain Review into the location of public sector jobs. In Uganda he led a team which drafted a new set of Rating Regulations, in Egypt he advised on the introduction of a new property tax and in Kosovo he worked for the EBRD in capacity building, by up skilling local consultants. He has provided expert guidance to the Canadian Office of Public Works on the tax treatment of Federal property. He is currently working for Dubai Lands Authority, advising on the introduction of property market indices and a number of other public sector, private sector and ‘third sector’ clients giving professional advice on land and property matters. Peadar is a joint Editor on the Emerald Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction and reviews for a wide range of property and construction related Journals.

Professor Martin Haran

Professor Martin Haran PhD is Professor of Real Estate and Urban Studies at Ulster University. Professor Haran has served as Principal Investigator on a series of prestigious international real estate and infrastructure investment research projects over the course of his career at Ulster. Commissioning bodies include the Investment Property Forum (IPF), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA). Professor Haran is co-author of the MSCI Northern Ireland commercial property index and is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction. Principal research interests include real estate market performance, real estate investment finance, urban regeneration, partnership based property development and infrastructure finance.

Mr. Sean Macintyre

Is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Health in the School of the Built Environment. He gained a BSc (Hons.) Environmental Health at the University of Ulster in 1985, a Post Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety from the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in 1990 and was awarded an MA in Human Resource Management in 1998 also from the University of Ulster. His academic career continued with Sean being awarded an MSc in Environmental Planning from Queens University Belfast, together with the Royal Town Planning Institute Student of the year prize in 2008. Before joining the University of Ulster Sean worked in local government for 23 years in a variety of Environmental Health roles, his final position was Deputy Director of Environmental Services (2004 to 2008) in local Borough Council. Since arriving at the University of Ulster Sean’s lecturing has been primarily on the topics of environmental protection, spatial planning, regulatory studies and case study work. Sean’s research interests have included investigating public perceptions of wind energy, the study of regulatory theory and the links between the provision of open space and the opportunity for communities and GIS.


segregation, contested space, post-conflict society, ethno-religious conflict, hedonic pricing, house prices

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