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History dependence in the housing market

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  • Bracke, Philippe
  • Tenreyro, Silvana

Abstract

Using the universe of housing transactions in England and Wales in the last twenty years, we document a robust pattern of history dependence in housing markets. Sale prices and selling probabilities today are affected by aggregate house prices prevailing in the period in which properties were previously bought. We investigate the causes of history dependence, with its quantitative implications for the post-crisis recovery of the housing market. To do so we complement our analysis with administrative data on mortgages and online house listings, which we match to actual sales. We find that high leverage in the pre-crisis period and anchoring (or reference dependence) both contributed to the collapse and slow recovery of the volume of housing transactions. We find no asymmetric effects of anchoring to previous prices on current transactions; in other words, loss aversion does not appear to play a role over and above simple anchoring.

Suggested Citation

  • Bracke, Philippe & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2016. "History dependence in the housing market," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86176, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:86176
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    Cited by:

    1. Chakraborty, Chiranjit & Joseph, Andreas, 2017. "Machine learning at central banks," Bank of England working papers 674, Bank of England.
    2. Greenaway-McGrevy, Ryan & Sorensen, Kade, 2021. "A Time-Varying Hedonic Approach to quantifying the effects of loss aversion on house prices," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 99(C).
    3. Lamorgese, Andrea R. & Pellegrino, Dario, 2022. "Loss aversion in housing appraisal: Evidence from Italian homeowners," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C).
    4. Zhou, Tingyu & Clapp, John M & Lu-Andrews, Ran, 2021. "Is the behavior of sellers with expected gains and losses relevant to cycles in house prices?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C).
    5. Giacoletti, Marco & Parsons, Christopher A., 2022. "Peak-Bust rental spreads," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 504-526.
    6. Coen, Jamie & Kashyap, Anil & Rostom, May, 2021. "Price discrimination and mortgage choice," Bank of England working papers 926, Bank of England.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    housing market; fluctuations; down-payment effects; reference dependence; anchoring; loss aversion labor market frictions; capital market frictions; volatility; labor market fluidity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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