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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Going through the 'roof' : spatial price diffusion and the ripple effect in the Vancouver housing market Grigoryeva, Idaliya


The housing market in Vancouver is the most unaffordable in North America. Although extensive research has been done on price drivers and general trends, there is little understanding of how the price increases spread out through Metro Vancouver. To better understand the spatial spread effects in the local housing market, this study quantitatively examines spatio-temporal price diffusion by mapping price changes for detached houses over the last decade across the metropolitan area. Using median selling prices for single-family homes, additional measures of volatility and cycles of price peaks and troughs are constructed to identify spatial price diffusion patterns. Volatility and break-point analysis is supported by cross-correlation estimates of interconnectedness between non-central price dynamics and the price changes in the metropolitan center, where new price impulses arrive. Finally, multiple linear regressions for price changes in both central and non-central regions are estimated in several specifications: individual equations by municipality and a joint panel data equation for 15 non-central municipalities. Both specifications, as well as estimation methods (OLS and fixed effects), indicate the presence of a ripple effect from the highest-priced central regions (Vancouver West and West Vancouver) to the peripheral suburban regions up to Abbotsford and Mission in the Fraser Valley with the result being robust for both monthly and quarterly data. The ripple effect is observed across contiguous and non-contiguous areas making the entire Greater Vancouver area susceptible to price shocks that occur at the center.

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