Contract Rescission in the Real Estate Presale Market
69 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2020 Last revised: 12 Oct 2021
Date Written: September 29, 2021
This study documents that over 10% of the presale contracts in the Hong Kong housing market between 1996 and 2014 were rescinded, resulting in a loss of HKD 436.67 million per year. We then investigate potential determinants of contracts rescission from a novel perspective of option theory. We find out-of-the-money presale contracts (with market price being lower than the outstanding payment at settlement) have a 12.2% higher rescission rate. The rescission rate is also higher when presale homebuyers bear more of the price risk as proxied by option delta and time-induced risk as proxied by time-to-maturity. Moreover, we find rescission rates drop significantly after the Hong Kong government’s housing market macroprudential measures. Our findings shed light on understanding the mechanism of presale contracts rescission, homebuyers’ strategic default behaviour, and the role of housing market regulation in mitigating rescissions.
Keywords: Presale contract, Real estate option, Presale rescission rate, Housing market regulation
JEL Classification: G12, G14, G21, H31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation