Liquidity and Information Asymmetry in the Real Estate Market

Wong, S. K., Yiu, C. Y., & Chau, K. W. (2012). Liquidity and information asymmetry in the real estate market. The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, 45(1), 49-62.

21 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2010 Last revised: 1 May 2015

See all articles by Siu Kei Wong

Siu Kei Wong

University of Hong Kong

Chung Yim Edward Yiu

Chinese University of Hong Kong - Department of Geography and Resource Management

K.W. Chau

The University of Hong Kong - Ronald Coase Centre for Property Rights Research - Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 20, 2010

Abstract

George Akerlof’s asymmetric information theory explains why lemons are rarely, if at all, transacted. We extend his theory to explain liquidity in the second-hand real estate market. The idea is to decompose real estate asset into two components: Land and the building structure. While sellers may know more about the quality of their structure, information on land, predominantly its locational attributes, is generally much more transparent. Without assuming any credit constraints or loss aversion behaviour, our model shows that 1) real estate liquidity depends on the relative importance of land and building value; 2) there is a positive relationship between real estate prices and trading volume when land value is more volatile than building value; 3) the positive relationship is stronger when most of the property value comes from the structure; and 4) while sales of new development may pull away the demand from second-hand real estate, such a substitution effect is weaker when the land price is high. These four implications have been confirmed with panel data analysis using Hong Kong’s housing transactions over the period 1992-2008 across 50 districts.

Keywords: Information asymmetry, price, volume, land value

JEL Classification: D82, G12

Suggested Citation

Wong, Siu Kei and Yiu, Chung Yim Edward and Chau, Kwong Wing, Liquidity and Information Asymmetry in the Real Estate Market (January 20, 2010). Wong, S. K., Yiu, C. Y., & Chau, K. W. (2012). Liquidity and information asymmetry in the real estate market. The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, 45(1), 49-62.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1539599 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1539599

Siu Kei Wong (Contact Author)

University of Hong Kong ( email )

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong, HK
China

Chung Yim Edward Yiu

Chinese University of Hong Kong - Department of Geography and Resource Management ( email )

Shatin
the New Territories
Hong Kong
Hong Kong

HOME PAGE: http://www.grm.cuhk.edu.hk/eng/people/ppl/fac_YiuEdward.html

Kwong Wing Chau

The University of Hong Kong - Ronald Coase Centre for Property Rights Research - Economics ( email )

Ronald Coase Centre for Property Rights Research
Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
(852)28592128 (Phone)
(852)25599457 (Fax)

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