In this paper, it is argued that neo‐classical location theory is of limited value in conceptualising the structure of urban office markets. Rather there are sound theoretical and technical arguments for segmenting office markets into distinct submarkets. It is further argued that submarkets, rather than being based on prior knowledge of agents or researchers, should be derived empirically. As an illustration the authors use principal components analysis and cluster analysis to construct office submarkets. The results reported are based on the analysis of a unique dataset of asking rents, physical and locational characteristics of properties on the market in the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh in the 1990s. From the empirical evidence, it is clear that different factors are important in influencing the structure of the office market in Scotland’s major urban centres.
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