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

  • Tin Cheuk Leung
  • Kwok Ping Tsang

In this paper we develop a simple model to link anchoring and loss aversion with 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 ï¬nd strong and signiï¬cant anchoring and loss aversion which are robust to type of housing and sample period. The ï¬nding 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 increase the volatility and cyclicality of house price.

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File URL: ftp://repec.econ.vt.edu/Papers/Tsang/LT2.pdf
File Function: Second version, 2010
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Paper provided by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number e07-20.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vpi:wpaper:e07-20
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  1. 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.
  2. Mark Grinblatt & Matti Keloharju, 2000. "What Makes Investors Trade?," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm146, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Nov 2001.
  3. David Genesove & Christopher Mayer, . "Loss Aversion and Seller Behavior: Evidence from the Housing Market," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 323, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
  7. 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.
  8. Alan Beggs & Kathryn Graddy, 2009. "Anchoring Effects: Evidence from Art Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1027-39, June.
  9. 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.
  10. Jeremy C. Stein, 1993. "Prices and Trading Volume in the Housing Market: A Model with Downpayment Effects," NBER Working Papers 4373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Are Investors Reluctant to Realize Their Losses?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1775-1798, October.
  12. 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.
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