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Assessing the performance of real estate auctions

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  • Christopher J. Meyer
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    Abstract

    This paper investigates the performance of real estate auctions in selling real estate relative to the more traditional method of negotiated sale. Estimates from auctions in Los Angeles during the boom of the mid 1980s show a discount that ranges between 0 and 9 percent, while similar sales in Dallas during the real estate bust of the late 1980s obtained discounts in the 9 to 21 percent range. This evidence is censistent with a theory that predicts larger percentage discounts in down markets. Although these results differ from previous studies of U.S. auctions that find much larger discounts, a comparison of methodologies suggests that previous papers that use a hedonic equation suffer from a selection bias problem, pushing auction coefficients towards finding larger discounts. Another interesting finding is that publishing a reserve price does not affect the estimated auction prices. Finally, the study notes that scattered-site auctions sell at a larger discount than the more homogeneous sales of single-site condominiums and finds no evidence of price declines over the course of an auction. The paper concludes that despite the discounts, auctions are still a viable sales strategy, especially for large sellers that face high holding costs and long average sales times, and for developers of single-site condominium complexes.

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    File URL: http://www.bostonfed.org/economic/wp/wp1993/wp93_1.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Working Papers with number 93-1.

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    Date of creation: 1993
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:93-1

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    Keywords: Real property;

    References

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    1. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1987. "Prices of Single Family Homes Since 1970: New Indexes for Four Cities," NBER Working Papers 2393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. John M. Clapp & Carmelo Giaccotto & Dogan Tirtiroglu, 1991. "Housing Price Indices Based on All Transactions Compared to Repeat Subsamples," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 19(3), pages 270-285.
    3. Riley, John G, 1989. "Expected Revenue from Open and Sealed Bid Auctions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 41-50, Summer.
    4. Robert H. Porter & J. Douglas Zona, 1992. "Detection of Bid Rigging in Procurement Auctions," NBER Working Papers 4013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1989. "The Efficiency of the Market for Single-Family Homes," NBER Working Papers 2506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Donald R. Haurin & Patric H. Hendershott, 1991. "House Price Indexes: Issues and Results," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 19(3), pages 259-269.
    7. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    8. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
    9. Hopewell, Michael H & Kaufman, George G, 1977. "Commercial Bank Bidding on Municipal Revenue Bonds: New Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(5), pages 1647-56, December.
    10. Hendricks, Kenneth & Porter, Robert H, 1988. "An Empirical Study of an Auction with Asymmetric Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 865-83, December.
    11. Salant, S.W., 1990. "For Sale by Owner: When to Use a Realtor and How to Price the House," Papers 90-14, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
    12. Bradford Case & Henry O. Pollakowski & Susan M. Wachter, 1991. "On Choosing Among House Price Index Methodologies," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 19(3), pages 286-307.
    13. Brannman, Lance & Klein, J Douglass & Weiss, Leonard W, 1987. "The Price Effects of Increased Competition in Auction Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 24-32, February.
    14. Ashenfelter, Orley & Genesove, David, 1992. "Testing for Price Anomalies in Real-Estate Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 501-05, May.
    15. Kenneth Hendricks, 1990. "Auctions for Oil and Gas Leases with an Informed Bidder and a Random Reservation Price," Discussion Papers 910, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    16. Goetzmann, William Nelson, 1992. "The Accuracy of Real Estate Indices: Repeat Sale Estimators," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-53, March.
    17. Kessel, Reuben, 1971. "A Study of the Effects of Competition in the Tax-exempt Bond Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(4), pages 706-38, July-Aug..
    18. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
    19. Robert J. Shiller, 1991. "Arithmetic Repeat Sales Price Estimators," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 971, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    20. Bulow, Jeremy & Roberts, John, 1989. "The Simple Economics of Optimal Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1060-90, October.
    21. Adams, Paul D & Kluger, Brian D & Wyatt, Steve B, 1992. "Integrating Auction and Search Markets: The Slow Dutch Auction," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 239-53, September.
    22. Giliberto, S Michael & Varaiya, Nikhil P, 1989. " The Winner's Curse and Bidder Competition in Acquisitions: Evidence from Failed Bank Auctions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(1), pages 59-75, March.
    23. Clapp, John M & Giaccotto, Carmelo, 1992. "Estimating Price Trends for Residential Property: A Comparison of Repeat Sales and Assessed Value Methods," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 357-74, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Christopher J. Mayer, 1993. "A model of real estate auctions versus negotiated sales," Working Papers 93-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

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