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Land Leverage: Decomposing Home Price Dynamics

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  • Raphael W. Bostic
  • Stanley D. Longhofer
  • Christian Redfearn

Abstract

This paper argues for the importance of separating the bundled good of housing into land and improvements, because locational amenities – which often constitute a significant portion of property value – are typically capitalized into the value of land but not the value of the physical structure on a parcel of land. This means that changes in overall property value will depend critically on how much of its value is represented by land value, a proportion we call land leverage. The importance of this deconstruction is demonstrated by highlighting how land leverage helps to explain variation in house price appreciation in Wichita, Kansas. The use of Wichita to demonstrate a land leverage effect is noteworthy, because its house price dynamics bias the analysis against finding a land leverage effect – the effect of land leverage is likely to more pronounced in larger urban areas. Noting that land leverage should be relevant for many real estate issues and policies, we highlight four specific areas where consideration of land leverage could significantly improve our understanding of real estate markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Raphael W. Bostic & Stanley D. Longhofer & Christian Redfearn, 2006. "Land Leverage: Decomposing Home Price Dynamics," Working Paper 8565, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
  • Handle: RePEc:luk:wpaper:8565
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    File URL: http://lusk.usc.edu/sites/default/files/working_papers/wp_2006-1013.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, "undated". "The Impact of Zoning on Housing Affordability," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 395, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
    2. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko & Raven E. Saks, 2005. "Why Have Housing Prices Gone Up?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 329-333, May.
    3. Chinloy, Peter, 1980. "The effect of maintenance expenditures on the measurement of depreciation in housing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 86-107, July.
    4. Harry L. Margulis, 1998. "Predicting the Growth and Filtering of At-risk Housing: Structure Ageing, Poverty and Redlining," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 35(8), pages 1231-1259, July.
    5. Coulson, N Edward & Leichenko, Robin M, 2001. "The Internal and External Impact of Historical Designation on Property Values," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 113-124, July.
    6. Richard Arnott & Russell Davidson & David Pines, 1983. "Housing Quality, Maintenance and Rehabilitation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 467-494.
    7. Stephen Malpezzi & Larry Ozanne & Thomas G. Thibodeau, 1987. "Microeconomic Estimates of Housing Depreciation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 63(4), pages 372-385.
    8. Coulson, N. Edward, 1989. "The empirical content of the linearity-as-repackaging hypothesis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 295-309, May.
    9. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
    10. Knight, John R. & Sirmans, C. F., 1996. "Depreciation, Maintenance, and Housing Prices," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 369-389, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cabray L. Haines & Richard J. Rosen, 2007. "Bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, vol. 31(Q I), pages 16-35.

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