Building Codes and Land Values in High Hazard Areas

Carolyn A. Dehring


Vacant land prices on Florida’s barrier islands are examined under four coastal building regulatory regimes. A hedonic pricing model features 1,745 vacant residential land sales from five barrier islands in Lee County between 1980 and 1993. We find that land values decrease in response to the county’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program, the establishment of a Coastal Building Zone, and following the reestablishment of the Coastal Construction Control Line. The findings suggest that benefits of safety from increased building standards are outweighed by the additional costs of compliance brought about by the code changes. (JEL R52, R21)

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