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Anchoring and Loss Aversion in the Housing Market: Implications on Price Dynamics

  • Tin Cheuk Leung

    (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

  • Kwok Ping Tsang

    (Virginia Tech and Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)

In this paper we develop a simple model with anchoring and loss aversion to explain house price dynamics. We have two testable implications: 1) when both cognitive biases are present, price dispersion and trade volume are pro-cyclical; 2) if anchoring decreases with time, then price dispersion and trade volume are higher for transactions whose previous purchase is more recent. Using a dataset that contains most real estate transactions in Hong Kong from 1992 to 2006, we find strong and significant anchoring and loss aversion which are robust to type of housing and sample period. The finding is consistent with the strong correlation between house price, price dispersion, and volume in the data. Moreover, anchoring decreases with time since previous transaction, and both price dispersion and volume show the same pattern. Our results suggest that anchoring and loss aversion can induce cyclicality in house prices.

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Paper provided by Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research in its series Working Papers with number 282011.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:282011
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  1. McAlvanah, Patrick & Moul, Charles C., 2013. "The house doesn’t always win: Evidence of anchoring among Australian bookies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 87-99.
  2. Stein, Jeremy C, 1995. "Prices and Trading Volume in the Housing Market: A Model with Down-Payment Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 379-406, May.
  3. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Pierre-Daniel Sarte & Raymond Owens, 2010. "Housing Externalities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(3), pages 485-535, 06.
  4. Charles Ka-Yui Leung & Youngman Chun Fai Leong & Siu Kei Wong, 2005. "Housing Price Dispersion: An Empirical Investigation," Departmental Working Papers _167, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
  5. Mark Grinblatt & Matti Keloharju, 2000. "What Makes Investors Trade?," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm146, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Nov 2001.
  6. Genesove, David & Mayer, Christopher, 2001. "Loss Aversion and Seller Behaviour: Evidence from the Housing Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 2813, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
  8. Charles K. Y. Leung & Garion C. K. Lau & Youngman C. F. Leong, 2002. "Testing Alternative Theories of the Property Price-Trading Volume Correlation," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 23(3), pages 253-264.
  9. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Are Investors Reluctant to Realize Their Losses?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1775-1798, October.
  10. Shapira, Zur & Venezia, Itzhak, 2001. "Patterns of behavior of professionally managed and independent investors," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 1573-1587, August.
  11. James A. Berkovec & John L. Goodman, 1996. "Turnover as a Measure of Demand for Existing Homes," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 24(4), pages 421-440.
  12. Alan Beggs & Kathryn Graddy, 2009. "Anchoring Effects: Evidence from Art Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1027-39, June.
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