Coming of Age: Renovation Premiums in Housing Markets

The paper is published as a New Journal Paper and can be downloaded here

Abstract of the Paper 
We rely on novel textual analysis of real estate listings and identify renovated dwellings in a dataset of Norwegian transactions to estimate the renovation premium in an urban housing market. The renovation premium is estimated in a hedonic framework by classical regression approaches and a random forest algorithm. The strength of the latter is that it allows for a more complex interplay between the renovation premium and explanatory variables. We estimate a significant positive renovation premium of 5–7 percent for renovated dwellings and a negative premium of 9–10 percent for unmaintained/neglected dwellings. These averages mask significant variations in these premiums over time, particularly, a counter-cyclical effect. Omitting renovation information also has implications for estimated short-term house price growth. Unmaintained dwellings tend to transact more in the fourth quarter, indicating that parts of the seasonal price variation reported in the literature are due to compositional variation with respect to renovation. This composition effect bias price movement estimates downward, if uncontrolled for, as unmaintained dwellings transact at significantly lower prices.

Published 11. November 2022 - 6:17 - Updated 11. November 2022 - 6:17