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Housing Quality in the Forward Contracts Market

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  • K. Chau
  • S. Wong
  • C. Yiu

Abstract

Developers often conduct forward sales (or presales) before building completion to relieve financial risk and burden. However, there are worries that housing units sold in this way will turn out to be substandard because developers, who have been paid for the unfinished units, may have incentives to cut costs by lowering the quality. This is a typical moral hazard problem. Nonetheless, forward sales have been very popular in some Asian cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan. A plausible explanation is that the market has efficiently adjusted the forward price for this potential quality problem according to developers’ reputations. This paper aims to theoretically explain and empirically test (1) whether reputation is reflected in forward prices and (2) whether the expected quality level matches with the actual quality level. Using the forward and spot sales data of the Hong Kong real estate market, we found that even though housing quality was not observable during presales, the market was able to capitalize developers’ reputations into forward prices accurately. This suggests that the optimal strategy for developers is to stick to the quality level implied by their reputations. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • K. Chau & S. Wong & C. Yiu, 2007. "Housing Quality in the Forward Contracts Market," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 313-325, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrefec:v:34:y:2007:i:3:p:313-325
    DOI: 10.1007/s11146-007-9018-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven Tadelis, 1999. "What's in a Name? Reputation as a Tradeable Asset," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 548-563, June.
    2. S. Wong & C. Yiu & M. Tse & K. Chau, 2006. "Do the Forward Sales of Real Estate Stabilize Spot Prices?," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 289-304, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gang-Zhi Fan & Ming Pu & Seow Ong, 2012. "Optimal Portfolio Choices, House Risk Hedging and the Pricing of Forward House Transactions," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 3-29, June.
    2. Lu, Chien-Lin & Liao, Wen-Chi & Peng, Chien-Wen, 2020. "Developers’ perspectives on timing to build: Evidence from microdata of land acquisition and development," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C).
    3. Deng, Yongheng & Wu, Jing, 2014. "Economic returns to residential green building investment: The developers' perspective," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 35-44.
    4. Yi-Kai Juan & I-Chieh Lin, 2018. "Optimal Cost–Quality Trade-Off Model for Differentiating Presale Housing Quality Strategies," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(3), pages 1-17, March.
    5. Ooi, Joseph T.L. & Le, Thao T.T. & Lee, Nai-Jia, 2014. "The impact of construction quality on house prices," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 126-138.
    6. He, Jia & Wu, Jing, 2016. "Doing well by doing good? The case of housing construction quality in China," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 46-53.
    7. C. Yiu & S. Wong & K. Chau, 2009. "Transaction Volume and Price Dispersion in the Presale and Spot Real Estate Markets," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 241-253, April.
    8. Sherry Zhefang ZHOU & Helen Xiaohui BAO, 2009. "Modelling Price Dynamics In The Hong Kong Property Market," Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management, Research Centre in Public Administration and Public Services, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 4(1S), pages 8-26, April.
    9. Zheng, Siqi & Wu, Jing & Kahn, Matthew E. & Deng, Yongheng, 2012. "The nascent market for “green” real estate in Beijing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 974-984.
    10. Yongheng Deng & Peng Liu, 2009. "Mortgage Prepayment and Default Behavior with Embedded Forward Contract Risks in China’s Housing Market," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 214-240, April.

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