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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2021

Daniel Lo, Michael James McCord, John McCord, Peadar Thomas Davis and Martin Haran

The price-to-rent ratio is often regarded as an important indicator for measuring housing market imbalance and inefficiency. A central question is the extent to which…

Abstract

Purpose

The price-to-rent ratio is often regarded as an important indicator for measuring housing market imbalance and inefficiency. A central question is the extent to which house prices and rents form part of the same market and thus whether they respond similarly to parallel stimulus. If they are close proxies dynamically, then this provides valuable market intelligence, particularly where causal relationships are evident. Therefore, this paper aims to examine the relationship between market and rental pricing to uncover the price switching dynamics of residential real estate property types and whether the deviation between market rents and prices are integrated over both the long- and short-term.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses cointegration, Wald exogeneity tests and Granger causality models to determine the existence, if any, of cointegration and lead-lag relationships between prices and rents within the Belfast property market, as well as the price-to-rent ratios amongst its five main property sub-markets over the time period M4, 2014 to M12 2018.

Findings

The findings provide some novel insights in relation to the pricing dynamics within Belfast. Housing and rental prices are cointegrated suggesting that they tend to move in tandem in the long run. It is further evident that in the short-run, the price series Granger-causes that of rents inferring that sales price information unidirectionally diffuse to the rental market. Further, the findings on price-to-rent ratios reveal that the detached sector appears to Granger-cause those of other property types except apartments in both the short- and long-term, suggesting possible spill-over of pricing signals from the top-end to the lower strata of the market.

Originality/value

The importance of understanding the relationship between house prices and rental market performance has gathered momentum. Although the house price-rent ratio is widely used as an indicator of over and undervaluation in the housing market, surprisingly little is known about the theoretical relationship between the price-rent ratio across property types and their respective inter-relationships.

Details

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8270

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2020

Michael McCord, Martin Haran, Peadar Davis and John McCord

A number of studies have investigated the relationship between energy performance certificates (EPCs) and house prices. A majority of studies have tended to model energy…

Abstract

Purpose

A number of studies have investigated the relationship between energy performance certificates (EPCs) and house prices. A majority of studies have tended to model energy performance pricing effects within a traditional hedonic conditional mean estimate model. There has been limited analysis that has accounted for the relationship between EPCs and the effects across the pricing distribution. Moreover, there has been limited research examining the “standard cost improvements EPC score”, or “potential score”. Therefore, this paper aims to quantify and measure the dynamic effects of EPCs on house prices across the price spectrum and account for standardised cost-effective retrofit improvements.

Design/methodology/approach

Existing EPC studies produce one coefficient for the entirety of the pricing distribution, culminating in a single marginal implicit price effect. The approach within this study applies a quantile regression approach to empirically estimate how quantiles of house prices respond differently to unitary changes in the proximal effects of EPCs and structural property characteristics across the conditional distribution of house prices. Using a data set of 1,476 achieved transaction prices, the quantile regression models apply both assessed EPC score and bands and further examine the potential EPC rating for improved energy performance based on an average energy cost improvement.

Findings

The findings show that EPCs are valued differently across the quantiles and that conditional quantiles are asymmetrical. Only property prices in the upper quantiles of the price distribution show significant capitalisation effects with energy performance, and only properties with higher EPC scores display positive significant effects at the higher end of the price distribution. There are also brown discount effects evident for lower-rated properties within F- and G-rated EPC properties at the higher end of the pricing distribution. Moreover, the potential energy efficiency rating (score) also shows increased effects with sales prices and appears to minimise any brown discount effects. The findings imply that energy performance is a complex feature that is not easily “averaged” for valuation effect purposes.

Originality/value

While numerous studies have investigated the pricing effects of EPCs, they have tended to provide a single estimate to determine the relationship with price. This paper extends the traditional analytical insights beyond the conditional mean estimate by examining the quantiles of the relationship between EPCs and house prices to enhance the understanding of this esoteric and complex issue. In addition, this research applies the assessed energy efficiency potential to establish whether effective cost improvements enhance the relationship with sales price and capitalisation effects.

Details

Journal of European Real Estate Research , vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-9269

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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2019

Michael James McCord, John McCord, Peadar Thomas Davis, Martin Haran and Paul Bidanset

Numerous geo-statistical methods have been developed to analyse the spatial dimension and composition of house prices. Despite these advances, spatial filtering remains an…

Abstract

Purpose

Numerous geo-statistical methods have been developed to analyse the spatial dimension and composition of house prices. Despite these advances, spatial filtering remains an under-researched approach within house price studies. This paper aims to examine the spatial distribution of house prices using an eigenvector spatial filtering (ESF) procedure, to analyse the local variation and spatial heterogeneity.

Design/methodology/approach

Using 2,664 sale transactions over the one year period Q3 2017 to Q3 2018, an eigenvector spatial filtering approach is applied to evaluate spatial patterns within the Belfast housing market. This method consists of using geographical coordinates to specify eigenvectors across geographic distance to determine a set of spatial filters. These convey spatial structures representative of different spatial scales and units. The filters are incorporated as predictors into regression analyses to alleviate spatial autocorrelation. This approach is intuitive, given that detection of autocorrelation in specific filters and within the regression residuals can be markers for exclusion or inclusion criteria.

Findings

The findings show both robust and effective estimator consistency and limited spatial dependency – culminating in accurately specified hedonic pricing models. The findings show that the spatial component alone explains 14.6 per cent of the variation in property value, whereas 77.6 per cent of the variation could be attributed to an interaction between the structural characteristics and the local market geography expressed by the filters. This methodological step reduced short-scale spatial dependency and residual autocorrelation resulting in increased model stability and reduced misspecification error.

Originality/value

Eigenvector-based spatial filtering is a less known but suitable statistical protocol that can be used to analyse house price patterns taking into account spatial autocorrelation at varying (different) spatial scales. This approach arguably provides a more insightful analysis of house prices by removing spatial autocorrelation both objectively and subjectively to produce reliable, yet understandable, regression models, which do not suffer from traditional challenges of serial dependence or spatial mis-specification. This approach offers property researchers and policymakers an intuitive but comprehensible approach for producing accurate price estimation models, which can be readily interpreted.

Details

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, vol. 13 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8270

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2020

Michael McCord, Peadar Davis, John McCord, Martin Haran and Karen Davison

The role of energy efficiency and particularly energy performance certificates (EPCs) has emerged as a topical and important aspect of real estate markets. Various studies…

Abstract

Purpose

The role of energy efficiency and particularly energy performance certificates (EPCs) has emerged as a topical and important aspect of real estate markets. Various studies have been carried out investigating the perceived capitalisation effects of energy efficiency on property prices. There, however, remains divergence of opinion whether the capitalisation effect is truly in existence with extant research showing differing magnitudes of effects, if any. To date, no study (that the authors are aware of) has investigated the nature of the transition between EPC bands and price effects. The purpose of this study is to add to the research of the energy efficiency of housing to examine the nature of the likelihood of property characteristics being associated with higher EPC scores and value.

Design/methodology/approach

This research undertakes a suite of methodological tests to investigate the more latent relationships between EPC bands and pricing behaviour using 3,797 achieved sales prices within the Belfast housing market. Binary logit regression models are specified in conjunction with a Polytomous Universal Model to examine the likelihood of EPC bands falling within a particular property type and the likelihood of any pricing effects.

Findings

The findings show the differing property types to comprise very distinct and complex relationships in terms of price and EPC banding. The binary logit model estimations for both terrace properties and apartments reveal an increased likelihood to obtain higher EPC scores, with the semi-detached sector displaying a “mixed effect” with detached property revealing decreased probability of having superior energy performance and decreased likelihood of having poorer energy performance. The ordinal model estimations indicate that sales price comprises no relationship with energy performance, inferring that there is no increased probability of an increase in sales price with higher EPC rating.

Originality/value

This research offers new insights and focus on achieving a better understanding of the nexus between energy performance and property characteristics using alternative modelling approaches. This provides more exploratory insights into the complex relationships and offers awareness for policy discourse in terms of targeting properties which will tend to be poorer in energy efficiency.

Details

Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction , vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-4387

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Peadar Davis, Michael J. McCord, William McCluskey, Erin Montgomery, Martin Haran and John McCord

Buildings contribute significantly to CO2 production. They are also subject to considerable taxation based on value. Analysis shows that while similar attributes…

Abstract

Purpose

Buildings contribute significantly to CO2 production. They are also subject to considerable taxation based on value. Analysis shows that while similar attributes contribute to both value and CO2 production, there is only a loose relationship between the two. If we wish to use taxation to affect policy change (drive energy efficiency behaviour), we are unlikely to achieve this using only the current tax base (value), or by increasing the tax take off this current tax base (unlike extra taxation of cigarettes to discourage smoking, for example). Taxation of buildings on the basis of energy efficiency is hampered by the lack of current evidence of performance. This paper aims to model the now-obligatory (at sale or letting) energy performance certificate (EPC) data to derive an acceptable appraisal model (marked to market, being the EPC scores) and deploys this to the entire population of properties. This provides an alternative tax base with which to model the effects of a tax base switch to energy efficiency and to understand the tax incidence effects of such a policy.

Design/methodology/approach

The research uses a multiplicative hedonic approach to model energy efficiency utilising EPC holding properties in a UK jurisdiction [Northern Ireland (NI)] as the sample. This model is then used to estimate discrete energy assessments for each property in the wider population, using attributes held in the domestic rating (property tax) database for NI (700,000+ properties). This produces a robust estimate of the EPC for every property in its current condition and its cost-effective improved condition. This energy assessment based tax base is further used to estimate a new millage rate and property tax bill (green property tax) which is compared against the existing property tax based on value to allow tax incidence changes to be analysed.

Findings

The findings show that such a policy would significantly redistribute the tax burden and would have a variety of expected and some unexpected effects. The results indicate that while assessing the energy performance of houses can be a complex process involving many parameters, much of the explanatory power can be achieved via a relatively small number of input variables, often already held by property tax jurisdictions. This offers the opportunity for useful housing stock modelling – such as the savings possible from power switching. The research also identifies that whilst urban areas display the expected “heat island” effect in terms of energy consumption, urban properties are on average more efficient than suburban/rural properties. This facilitates spatial targeting of policy messages and initiatives.

Research limitations/implications

Analogous with other studies, data deficiencies introduce the risk of omitted variable bias. Modelling of the energy efficiency in the sample is limited to property attributes that are available for the wider population of properties. While this limits the modelling exercise, it is a perennial issue facing mass appraisal worldwide (where knowledge of the transacted sample attributes generally exceeds knowledge of the unsold properties). That said, the research demonstrates the benefits of sharing data and improving knowledge of the housing stock, as taxation databases would be stronger, augmented with EPC-derived property attributes for example.

Originality/value

The EPC lead in time for wide residential coverage is likely to be considerable. The paper contributes to emerging literature and policy debate surrounding the effect, performance measurement and implementation of energy efficiency certification, through a greater understanding of the sectorial and geographical dispersion of energy efficiency. It provides high level research to help guide policy and decision-making, identifying key locales where there is more of a physical problem and locations where there is more to gain in terms of targeting energy improvement and/or encouraging behavioural change. The paper also allows a glimpse of the implications of a change towards a taxation regime based on energy efficiency, which contributes to the debate surrounding the “greening” of property based taxes.

Details

Journal of European Real Estate Research, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-9269

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Michael James McCord, Peadar T. Davis, Martin Haran and John McCord

The purpose of this research is to examine the nature of housing market affordability. Although the problem of housing affordability has been widely discussed, the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to examine the nature of housing market affordability. Although the problem of housing affordability has been widely discussed, the theoretical underpinnings of the concept have received less attention. It has become increasingly evident that more holistic insights and integrated approaches are needed to provide a platform to define affordability to influence research and policy discourse.

Design/methodology/approach

Given the increasing importance of affordability within housing policy reform, this paper seeks to “unearth” the most important prognosticators of affordability. The paper uses principal component analysis to determine how affordability, as a key policy tool, should be analysed. In addition, co integration techniques, Granger causality and impulse response analysis are applied to test the movement and shocks of the key affordability indicators and the two common affordability metrics.

Findings

The principal conclusions stemming from this paper demonstrate that affordability is a multifaceted policy concept influenced by financial access (purchase) costs and the repayment costs of housing services which are correlated and interchangeable but significantly were found not to be co integrated.

Originality/value

Understanding the nature of housing market affordability remains problem for policy-makers. This paper adds to the debate and empirical understanding of the cyclic nature of affordability and how it is defined. It shows that there are intricate causal short-term relationships between the key affordability indicators. This is problematic for contemporary housing policy and the key directions in which policy must turn.

Details

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8270

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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2018

Michael James McCord, Peadar Thomas Davis, Paul Bidanset, William McCluskey, John McCord, Martin Haran and Sean MacIntyre

Understanding the key locational and neighbourhood determinants and their accessibility is a topic of great interest to policymakers, planners and property valuers. In…

Abstract

Purpose

Understanding the key locational and neighbourhood determinants and their accessibility is a topic of great interest to policymakers, planners and property valuers. In Northern Ireland, the high level of market segregation means that it is problematic to understand the nature of the relationship between house prices and the accessibility to services and prominent neighbourhood landmarks and amenities. Therefore, this paper aims to quantify and measure the (dis)amenity effects on house pricing levels within particular geographic housing sub-markets.

Design/methodology/approach

Most hedonic models are estimated using regression techniques which produce one coefficient for the entirety of the pricing distribution, culminating in a single marginal implicit price. This paper uses a quantile regression (QR) approach that provides a “more complete” depiction of the marginal impacts for different quantiles of the price distribution using sales data obtained from 3,780 house sales transactions within the Belfast Housing market over 2014.

Findings

The findings emerging from this research demonstrate that housing and market characteristics are valued differently across the quantile values and that conditional quantiles are asymmetrical. Pertinently, the findings demonstrate that ordinary least squares (OLS) coefficient estimates have a tendency to over or under specify the marginal mean conditional pricing effects because of their inability to adequately capture and comprehend the complex spatial relationships which exist across the pricing distribution.

Originality value

Numerous studies have used OLS regression to measure the impact of key housing market externalities on house prices, providing a single estimate. This paper uses a QR approach to examine the impact of local amenities on house prices across the house price distribution.

Details

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8270

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2016

Martin Haran, Michael McCord, Peadar Davis, John McCord, Colm Lauder and Graeme Newell

The purpose of this paper is to improve the transparency of European emerging real estate market dynamics and performance attributes in the wake of the 2007-2008 global…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to improve the transparency of European emerging real estate market dynamics and performance attributes in the wake of the 2007-2008 global financial crisis (GFC). The paper examines the extent and nature of inter-relationships between three emerging real estate markets namely, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland as well as determining the rationale for including emerging real estate markets within a Pan-European investment portfolio. The paper affords a timely update following the reinstatement of lending provision for European emerging real estate investment markets in 2014.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs lead-lag correlations and Grainger causality to examine inter and intra relationships across three emerging European real estate markets, namely the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland over the period 2006-2014. Optimal portfolio analysis is undertaken to explore the role of emerging real estate markets within the confines of a multi-asset investment portfolio as well as a Pan-European real estate investment portfolio.

Findings

The findings demonstrate the opportunities afforded by the European emerging real estate markets in terms of both performance enhancement and risk diversification. Significantly, the findings highlight the lack of “uniformity” across the European emerging markets in terms of their investment potential, with Grainger causality confirming that the real estate markets in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland are not endogenous functions of one-another’s performance.

Practical implications

This paper makes a considered contribution to the analytical interpretation of European emerging property market performance across the real estate cycle. The research demonstrates that the real estate markets in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland exhibit specific investment characteristics which differentiate them from the more developed real estate markets across Europe. Indeed emerging markets have the propensity to serve as both a risk diversifier as well as performance enhancer within the confines of a pan-European real estate investment portfolio. However, as the research clearly articulates, intricate understanding of the attributes afforded by the different emerging markets as well as the divergence in sectoral dynamics/performance is integral to portfolio allocation strategies.

Originality/value

Robust academic research on Europe’s emerging real estate markets has been hampered by deficiencies in data provision. This study makes an innovative and timely contribution to redressing the research vacuum through delineated examination of the performance dynamics of three markets namely, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, across the real estate cycle. The role and function of emerging markets is depicted within the confines of a Pan-European direct real estate investment portfolio at the all property level and in terms of sectoral specific allocations comprising retail, office and industrial. The explicit added value of the paper is the propensity to bench-mark the performance of emerging markets real estate markets on a like-for-like basis with developed real estate markets across Europe facilitating the exploration of the role and function of emerging real estate markets within a Pan-European investment context.

Details

Journal of Property Investment & Finance, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-578X

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Article
Publication date: 18 November 2013

John McCord, Michael J. McCord, William McCluskey, Peadar Davis, David McIhatton and Martin Haran

Belfast's “peace walls” exist to physically segregate and provide a measure of security to the communities on the religious divide in Northern Ireland. Whilst they do…

Abstract

Purpose

Belfast's “peace walls” exist to physically segregate and provide a measure of security to the communities on the religious divide in Northern Ireland. Whilst they do ostensibly achieve this aim, it may well be that these structures have the capacity to prevent the restoration of normal community interactions and market processes and may also be providing their benefits at a high price with regard to issues such as house price reduction. Indeed, the effect of these structures on surrounding residential property values remains somewhat of an unknown quantity. This paper therefore measures the effect of proximity to locations with social and political conflicts. The paper aims to quantify and measure the disamenity implications and costs of artificial barriers (peace walls) within the Belfast housing market.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper attempts to measure the disamenity effect of peace walls on house prices, primarily focusing on the effect of distance, calculated using a hedonic pricing specification and spatially referenced data. The data are derived from 3,836 house sales transactions over a one year period in 2011.

Findings

The emerging findings demonstrate that a greater negative pricing effect is evident with proximity to the peace walls, with the exception of the apartment sector. The findings also highlight the complex market pricing structure of Belfast and offer insight as how to best classify submarkets.

Practical implications

The results of the research are of particular interest to property valuers and social policy makers in regions with contested space.

Originality/value

Tactile barriers scar the urban terrain, formalise ethno-segregation across Belfast and have implications for spatial planning in the urban environment and housing studies and policy. Such an externality may have a pervasive and endogenous effect on house prices and the identification of submarkets yet there is implicit acceptance of peace lines as de facto standard and a dearth of empirical evidence relating to direction and magnitude of the location-specific effects of peace walls on house prices in Belfast. This paper is arguably the first to empirically examine the location-specific effects of peace walls on property value across the Belfast area.

Details

Journal of European Real Estate Research, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-9269

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2015

Peadar T Davis, John A McCord, Michael McCord and Martin Haran

This study aims to investigate the relationship between energy performance and property sale price in the Belfast housing market. How energy efficiency is contributes to…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the relationship between energy performance and property sale price in the Belfast housing market. How energy efficiency is contributes to sale price and thus appraisal value is of growing concern. The obligatory measurement of energy efficiency in private dwellings seeks to encourage improvements in energy performance. This may be capitalised into property value and may stimulate demand for energy-efficient buildings. However, the relationship between energy performance and property value remains nebulous, complex and under-researched – in part due to data limitations.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a hedonic pricing specification, this paper measures the effect of energy performance certificates (EPCs) on residential property value. It examines the relationship between 3,797 residential sales transactions across the Belfast housing market, showing the percentage effect on property value with respect to energy performance.

Findings

The results indicate a small but positive relationship between better energy performance and higher selling prices. Nonetheless, the findings point towards strong preference, demand tastes and a complex intra-relationship between EPCs and their capitalisation into property value. Pertinently, the findings point towards any energy-efficient-related price effect affect to be marginal alongside more “quality”-based market behaviours.

Research limitations/implications

Analogous with other studies, data deficiencies and a lack of incorporating price determining variables (missing determinants) such as heating type and glazing type introduces omitted variable bias and endogeneity problems within the model structure.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to emerging literature and policy debate surrounding the measurement and implementation of energy-efficiency certification through a greater understanding of energy performance characteristics in determining property value.

Details

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8270

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