What real-estate ads tell about the evolution of the house

Abstract : In France, 56% of dwellers live in single-family detached houses, which are considered to be the ideal home by almost 90% of the population. The house is at the same time an object that must respond to the needs of a family, it is a consumer product considered as an investment and an object of personal and social expression with a strong symbolic meaning. The elements that are praised in this kind of dwelling are in constant mutation. We propose to study the real-estate ads as a source of information of the characteristics and qualities of the single detached house, since they are faithful accounts of a specific time and place. The study is based on a previous research (Rodriguez 2004) that analyzed the characterization of ambient-environment in single-family detached houses using real-estate ads. Our study analyses real-estate ads published at three different decades (1985, 1995 and 2005) and in three distinct geographic areas of France (North, West and South). Our purpose is to establish the importance, at each time frame and location, of the different elements that compose the house in order to elaborate on the evolution and future of the house. A sample of 6750 ads (750 ads per decade and location) is studied using statistical and linguistic analysis. Results confirm the increase in size of the houses. There is a permutation in the importance of several spaces: the formal living room gives way to more relaxed spaces; the garden and the bathroom are presented as space's of leisure loosing their functional condition. The notion of comfort evolves from “total comfort” to a much more complex notion.
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Gabriel Rodriguez, Daniel Siret. What real-estate ads tell about the evolution of the house. IAPS 19 Conference, Sep 2006, Alexandrie, Egypt. 8p. ⟨halshs-00573354⟩

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