The rise and effects of homeowners associations

The rise and effects of homeowners associations

In the U.S., nearly 60% of recently built single-family houses, and 80% of houses in new subdivisions, are part of a homeowners association (HOA). We construct the first near-national map of HOAs using publicly recorded mortgage records for single-family homes. We use these data to document the growth and characteristics of HOAs as well as to examine their relationship with housing prices. We find that houses in HOAs have prices that are on average at least 4%, or $13,500, greater than observably similar houses outside of HOAs. The HOA premium correlates with the stringency of local land use regulation, local government spending on public goods, and measures of social attitudes toward race. The data also paint a detailed picture of the people living in HOA neighborhoods, who are on average more affluent and racially segregated than those living in other nearby neighborhoods.

Wyatt Clarke and Matthew Freedman

Journal of Urban Economics

July 2019

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