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How flood risk impacts residential rents and property prices: Empirical analysis of a German property market

Jens Hirsch (IRE/BS Department of Real Estate, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany)
Jonas Hahn (IRE/BS Department of Real Estate, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany)

Journal of Property Investment & Finance

ISSN: 1463-578X

Article publication date: 5 February 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to quantify the impact of 100-year flood risk on both property rents and values in Germany, exemplified by the market of the historic city of Regensburg, and therefore supports investors in understanding market behavior patterns in both rental and investment context.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors construct two generalized additive models for rents and purchasing prices with spatial components and under inclusion of both typical property characteristics (as control variables) and a 100-year flood risk parameter in order to estimate its effect on the rents and property price structure. The authors apply the methodology to a four-year data set of more than 16,500 observations.

Findings

The analysis shows that flood risk is a highly significant parameter when estimating both the rent as well as the sales price model. The authors also find that purchase prices for one square meter of living area are, on average, EUR299 lower if the property is located in the flood risk zone. In addition, also rental markets come with a respective, but rather low, discount.

Practical implications

The authors provide transparency to investors in terms of the impact that a flood risk location has on property rents as well as purchasing prices. The study supports investors by providing evidence on reaction patterns in German real estate markets and helps quantifying the financial impact that comes with flood risk in Germany.

Originality/value

This is the first study that aims to empirically test and to quantify the impact of flood risk on property rents and purchasing prices in Germany. Related research has been performed for the USA, Ireland and New Zealand and largely refers to event-driven work or rather conceptual in the context of property valuation.

Keywords

Citation

Hirsch, J. and Hahn, J. (2018), "How flood risk impacts residential rents and property prices: Empirical analysis of a German property market", Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. 36 No. 1, pp. 50-67. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPIF-11-2016-0088

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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