Housing submarkets and the impacts of foreclosures on property prices
The dramatic rise in the number of foreclosed properties since 2006 has come to assume the proportions of a national crisis. It is widely acknowledged that foreclosures hurt neighborhoods by devaluing the nearby properties through various channels. This paper offers a new way of conceptualizing and then estimating the potential effects of foreclosures on property values. Housing stock heterogeneity in the central city old neighborhood allows for the possibility that the impacts of nearby foreclosures may differ across types of housing. This study uses a dataset that covers twenty years of housing values from the City of Worcester (MA), and finds evidence that foreclosures of multi-family houses in close proximity influence the sales price of surrounding single-family properties after controlling for impact from foreclosure of nearby single-family houses. The most preferred estimate suggests that each multi-family foreclosure that occurs between 660 and 1320 feet away from the sale lowers the predicted sales price by approximately 3%. Nearby multi-family spillover impacts also persist over time. In addition, a new approach advocating for an alternative definition of housing submarket suggests that a distant foreclosure within the same submarket also lower sales price of a single-family home by 0.1%.
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