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Housing market volatility under COVID-19: Diverging response of demand in luxury and low-end housing markets

Bingbing Wang

Land Use Policy, 2022, vol. 119, issue C

Abstract: The ongoing pandemic has led to substantial volatility in residential housing markets. However, relatively little is known about whether the volatility is dominated by housing demand or supply, and how different priced markets contribute to the volatility. This article first examines the temporal effect of COVID-19 on house prices, housing demand, and supply in Los Angeles, and second explores the effect heterogeneity in luxury and low-end housing markets within the city. For identification, the article employs a revised difference-in-differences (DID) method that controls more rigorously for unobservables and improves on the traditional DID with smaller prior trends. Using individual level data, the result first shows that, in response to the outbreak, house prices, demand, and supply all decreased in March to May 2020 and increased in July and August 2020, with demand dominating the process. Second, the heterogeneity exploration identifies diverging COVID-19 impacts in higher- and lower- priced markets. Particularly, the decline in overall price and demand before June originates mainly from the lower-priced market while the higher-priced one experienced limited changes in demand. After July, higher-priced markets led housing market’s surge in price, demand, and supply, whereas the lower-priced market has not fully recovered from decreases in house prices and housing demand. Finally, a larger price decline in lower-priced markets is found to be associated with higher service shares and lower homeownership rates. The results not only facilitate market participants in their decision making but also aid local governments in formulating policies and allocating subsidies to mitigate the effects of the outbreak.

Keywords: COVID-19; House prices; Revised difference-in-differences methods; Nonparametric estimation; Service shares; Homeownership rates (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2022.106191

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