Loss Aversion and Seller Behavior: Evidence from the Housing Market
42 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2001 Last revised: 3 Apr 2021
Date Written: March 2001
Data from downtown Boston in the 1990s show that loss aversion determines seller behavior in the housing market. Condominium owners subject to nominal losses 1) set higher asking prices of 25-35 percent of the difference between the property's expected selling price and their original purchase price; 2) attain higher selling prices of 3-18 percent of that difference; and 3) exhibit a much lower sale hazard than other sellers. The list price results are twice as large for owner-occupants as investors, but hold for both. These findings are consistent with prospect theory and help explain the positive price-volume correlation in real estate markets.
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