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Loss Aversion and Seller Behavior: Evidence from the Housing Market

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Listed:
  • David Genesove
  • Christopher Mayer

Abstract

Data from downtown Boston in the 1990s show that loss aversion determines seller behavior in the housing market. Condominium owners subject to nominal losses 1) set higher asking prices of 25–35 percent of the difference between the property's expected selling price and their original purchase price; 2) attain higher selling prices of 3–18 percent of that difference; and 3) exhibit a much lower sale hazard than other sellers. The list price results are twice as large for owneroccupants as investors, but hold for both. These findings suggest that sellers are averse to realizing (nominal) losses and help explain the positive price-volume correlation in real estate markets.

Suggested Citation

  • David Genesove & Christopher Mayer, 2001. "Loss Aversion and Seller Behavior: Evidence from the Housing Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1233-1260.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:116:y:2001:i:4:p:1233-1260.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/003355301753265561
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. David Genesove & Christopher Mayer, 2001. "Loss Aversion and Seller Behavior: Evidence from the Housing Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1233-1260.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

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