Social preferences for water sensitive housing features in Australia

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Without the designing and implementing of water sensitive housing designs, unplanned infill developments could have a substantial adverse effect on the natural environment. Water sensitive housing options could help meet housing demand while minimising the environmental impacts associated with typical infill development. However, whether the market will accept these designs is not known. In this paper, we assess people's preferences for different dwelling options in Adelaide and Melbourne. In both cities, infill is a dominant type of housing development. We use an economic non-market valuation approach, a discrete choice experiment, to understand owners' and renters' preferences for a set of attributes associated with a dwelling. It has been found that people have a very strong tendency to prefer their current dwelling and prefer house and townhouse dwelling types compared to apartments. Access to ‘high’ quality private outdoor space is preferred compared to a ‘minimal’ level. They also prefer covered-secured parking. However, there are low (or negative) preferences for a high level of shared amenity, except for renters in Adelaide. The results suggest that infill markets will be most successful in achieving water-sensitive outcomes if adopting detached dwelling styles with covered-secured parking with high-quality private outdoor space.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107386
JournalEcological Economics
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


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