Housing Markets in a Pandemic: Evidence from Historical Outbreaks

54 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2020 Last revised: 27 Jan 2021

See all articles by Marc Francke

Marc Francke

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB); Ortec Finance

Matthijs Korevaar

Erasmus School of Economics

Date Written: January 25, 2021

Abstract

How do pandemics affect urban housing markets? This paper studies historical outbreaks of the plague in 17th-century Amsterdam and cholera in 19th-century Paris to answer this question. Based on micro-level transaction data, we show outbreaks resulted in large declines in house prices, and smaller declines in rent prices. We find particularly large reductions in house prices during the first six months of an epidemic, and in heavily-affected areas. However, these price shocks were only transitory, and both cities quickly reverted to their initial price paths. Our findings suggest these two cities were very resilient to major shocks originating from epidemics.

Keywords: pandemics, housing markets, asset prices, mortality

JEL Classification: G10, I19, J10, N93, R31

Suggested Citation

Francke, Marc and Korevaar, Matthijs, Housing Markets in a Pandemic: Evidence from Historical Outbreaks (January 25, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3566909 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3566909

Marc Francke

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) ( email )

Plantage Muidergracht 12
Amsterdam, 1018 TV
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.uva.nl/en/contact/staff/item/m.k.francke.html?f=francke

Ortec Finance ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.ortec-finance.com

Matthijs Korevaar (Contact Author)

Erasmus School of Economics ( email )

Netherlands

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