Hedonic Amenity Valuation and Housing Renovations

31 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2015

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: Fall 2015


Hedonic and repeat sales estimators are commonly used to value such important urban amenities as schools, environmental quality and access to transit. Given that property data often omits information on quality differences between same‐aged homes as well as changes in structural attributes over time, researchers must assume that property renovations are uncorrelated with neighborhood amenities. We formally test if this assumption is valid by incorporating detailed data on renovations in Charlotte, North Carolina. We begin by testing how the inclusion of minor and major home improvements influences hedonic and repeat sales indices. Results find limited bias in hedonic indices and that renovated properties are no more likely to be sold than nonrenovated properties. Using the introduction of Charlotte's light rail‐transit system in 2000, we estimate a positive bias of between 1.6% and 19.9% on the capitalized benefits of access to light rail due to omitted information on renovations. Our results show that a number of common data cleaning techniques used to address missing information on structural improvements may worsen this bias.

Suggested Citation

Billings, Stephen B., Hedonic Amenity Valuation and Housing Renovations (Fall 2015). Real Estate Economics, Vol. 43, Issue 3, pp. 652-682, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2639436 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1540-6229.12093

Stephen B. Billings (Contact Author)

University of Colorado - Boulder ( email )

Leeds School of Business
Koelbel Building
Boulder, CO US 80309
United States

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