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Residential land price fluctuations caused by behavioral changes on work-from-home based on COVID-19

Katafuchi, Yuya (2021): Residential land price fluctuations caused by behavioral changes on work-from-home based on COVID-19.

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Abstract

This study analyzes how the behavioral changes associated with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have affected residential land prices. Under previous pandemics (e.g., Spanish flu and SARS), avoidance of real estate transactions accompanied by going-out behavior and contraction of the real economy have caused a decrease in residential land prices. On the other hand, under the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been reported that residential land prices were stable or increasing due to behavioral changes such as the promotion of work-from-home (WFH). In order to confirm this phenomenon, this study first constructs a yearly panel dataset of Japan with the average published land price at the prefectural level as the dependent variable and treatment variables based on policy interventions for COVID-19, or WFH implementation. Second, this study uses the dataset to examine the relationship between land prices and changes in these conditions before and after the pandemic using the difference-in-differences method. The results of the above empirical analysis suggest that residential land prices were higher in prefectures where policy interventions related to COVID-19 were more robust than in other prefectures and where WFH was promoted more. This result supports the upward trend in residential land prices during the COVID-19 pandemic in the prefectures where policy interventions on COVID-19, including requests for WFH, are more implemented and where WFH is more prevalent.

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