There has been something of a debate about the thinking that prescribes the
decisions to develop or invest in real estate in particular locations in the
UK, and how this has continued to dictate the location of such investment. It
has focused on the relationship between cultural aspects and economic
fundamentals. Discussing property development, and by implication investment,
Guy and Henneberry (2000) argued that social structures and processes are as
important as economic principles in 'explaining' property development and
investment. Ball (2002), calling this an 'integration' of economic and social
processes, argued that this was nothing new; it arose from a very long-standing
institutional bias in investment allocation 'through prejudice', meaning in
turn that some 'places' are preferred to others for investment.
In this paper, rather than looking at institutional real estate
allocation(s) in each LA, (Byrne and Lee, 2006, 2009 and 2010), the spread of
holdings in 1998 and more particularly 2003 is examined by reference to more
synthetic socio-economic structures derived from a multivariate classification
of LAs (essentially towns) using data from the 2001 census (ONS, 2003).