2008-12 | November 2009
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Climate Change and Housing Prices: Hedonic Estimates for North American Ski Resorts
We use a hedonic framework to estimate and simulate the impact of global warming on real estate prices at North American ski resorts. To do so, we combine data on resort-area housing values from two sources--data on average values for U.S. Census tracts across a broad swath of the western U.S. and data on individual home sales for four markets in the western U.S. and Canada, each available over multiple decades--with detailed weather data and characteristics of ski resorts in those areas. Our OLS and fixed-effects models of changes in home values with respect to medium-run changes in the share of snowfall in winter precipitation yield precise and consistent estimates of positive snowfall effects on housing values in both data sources. We use our estimates to simulate the impact of likely climate shifts on home values in coming decades and find substantial variation across resort areas based on climatic characteristics such as longitude, elevation, and proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Resorts that are unfavorably located face likely large negative effects on home prices due to warming, unless adaptive measures are able to compensate for the deterioration of conditions in the ski industry.
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