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Effect of COVID-19 lockdowns on city-center and suburban housing markets: Evidence from Hangzhou, China

I-Chun Tsai, Ying-Hui Chiang and Shih-Yuan Lin

Journal of Asian Economics, 2022, vol. 83, issue C

Abstract: In 2020, governments worldwide enforced lockdowns to contain the spread of COVID-19, severely impeding aspects of daily life such as work, school, and tourism. Consequently, numerous economic activities were affected. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, city-center housing markets in areas surrounding popular tourist attractions performed better than did suburban housing markets because of the output of the tourism industry. This study examines the changes in the performance of city-center and suburban housing markets in regions with popular tourist attractions after the lockdown. Specifically, the dynamics of city-center and suburban housing markets in Hangzhou, where West Lake is located, and the changes in the information transfer between these housing markets after the lockdown are explored. Transaction data from January 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020 are used to perform analysis, in which adjusted housing prices and asking prices are employed to measure market performance and sellers’ pricing strategies, and transaction volume and time on the market are used to measure market liquidity and transaction frequency. The results reveal that the effects of lockdowns differ between city-center and suburban housing markets. After the lockdown, a substantial structural change is observed in the suburban housing market; the volatility risk of housing prices decreases substantially, causing an increase in transaction premiums. Housing prices and transaction volume increase in the city-center housing market after the lockdown; this is possibly because of the influence from the overall housing market booms. In addition, because sellers raise their asking prices and the transaction time is extended, the sellers in the city-center housing market are particularly influenced by the disposition effect. This leads to a reversal in the lead–lag relationship between the city center and suburban housing markets in terms of informativeness. Specifically, before the lockdown, the city-center market transfers information to the suburban market, but after the lockdown, the suburban market transfers information to the city-center market. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in many aspects; this paper finds that it will also change the development pattern of the real estate market in different locations.

Keywords: COVID-19; Lockdowns; The city-center housing market; The suburban housing market; Hangzhou (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.asieco.2022.101544

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