Working Papers

Working papers

  • Value Follows Form: The Shape of Buildings as a Predictor of Property Values
    Popular wisdom advises not to judge a book by its cover. For a building, however, the
    opposite holds true: The outer shell of a structure reveals a wealth of information about the place. This paper links the 3D shape of buildings to the sales prices in a large sample of residential properties.
  • That’s what we paid for it – The Spell of the Home Purchase Price through the Centuries (with Piet Eichholtz, Maastricht University)

    This paper is the first to provide empirical insights into the long-term nature of the loss aversion bias. Using a database of Amsterdam housing transactions spanning 324 years, the paper studies the question whether loss aversion was present in centuries past, whether its effects were stable across these centuries, and whether the psychological effect of the purchase price on selling behavior eroded with time and through the occurrence of important events.

    The purchase price of the house is found to have been a psychological anchor, below which home owners were reluctant to sell their home. This result holds for 17th and 18th century Dutch home owners as well as for those who followed in their wake, but loss aversion appears to get stronger over the centuries. The anchoring power of the purchase price was strong: it survived the death of the original owner when the house passed on to the heirs. It was however diminished by loss realizations in housing transactions in the direct vicinity, and even more so by the occurrence of wars involving foreign occupation. The aversion to a loss relative to the purchase price was also gradually reduced by the time passed since the purchase.

  • The Topography of Growth and Decline: Local Price Dynamics within Cities

    This paper researches within-city home price dynamics in bullish and bearish residential real estate markets. It contributes to the literature addressing the urban layout of cities by formulating and empirically testing a novel idea for changes in the price gradients across neighborhoods under different market regimes. It finds that the combination of city-wide falling home prices and declining population numbers hurts low-value neighbor- hoods most, while falling home-prices in cities with robust demographics do not lead to shifts in the within- city distribution of housing wealth. In addition, the paper confirms earlier findings on endogenous home price dynamics.

    A new level of spatial detailedness is achieved by combining a high-quality data-set for The Netherlands with estimation techniques borrowed from the geoscience domain. The data comprise of 1.8 million single family home transactions and 0.8 million apartments sold by members of the Dutch Realtor Association (NVM). This is the first paper that estimates home price index surfaces for an entire country based on a spatial error model (SER).

    Earlier version presented at the international meeting of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, Rotterdam, 2010.

  • International Diversification Benefits¬†from Housing Investments.”(with Piet Eichholtz, Maastricht University)Presented at the American Real Estate Society meeting 2008
  • “Belgian rents in the very long run.” Presented at the international meeting of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association in Istanbul, 2008


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