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The price ripple effect in the Vancouver housing market

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Attempts to model the dynamic characteristics of a housing market include examining the spatial diffusion of price changes from an epicenter through a regional or national network of geographic units. Less common has been the study of a ripple effect of price changes within a single metropolitan area, with implications for the erosion of residential affordability. Such trends have particular salience within the Vancouver metropolitan area, the least affordable housing market in North America. Using quarterly price data from local real estate boards, we examine price changes through municipal regions from 2005–2017, a period including several externally-induced price shocks. Several techniques test for a ripple effect in price movements. A time lag of three months consistently exists in the communication of price shocks from an originating epicenter to other parts of the metropolitan region, with longer lags with several more distant municipalities, confirming the presence of an intra-metropolitan ripple effect.
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Keywords: Ripple effect; Vancouver housing market; affordability; price diffusion; price volatility

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Publication date: September 14, 2019

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