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Category Archives: R3

Landlords and Evictions: Changes in the Ownership of Multi-Family Rental Properties and Its Impact on Housing Stability in Durham, NC

By Ekim Buyuk

This thesis investigates the changes in the ownership of multi-family rental complexes in
Durham between 2000 and 2018 and their subsequent impact on housing stability. Specifically, I model and compare the likelihood that an eviction filing is issued by corporate and individual landlords in the periods before and after a transaction. Since the early 2000s, institutional investor share in all property sizes has increased dramatically in the United States. In 2013, the Blackstone Group released the first-ever rated bond backed by single-family securitized rental payments, and since then, numerous firms have followed with similar security offerings, which as of 2018 include bonds backed by multi family rental income. The surge of institutional investment in multi-family rental properties and its impacts on communities have remained largely ignored in academic literature. Durham County currently holds one of the highest eviction rates in North Carolina and ranks in the top 40 of highest evicting large cities in the United States. In my thesis, I uncover how ownership of rental properties in Durham has changed since the early 2000s and investigate whether the behaviors of “corporate landlords” differ significantly from those of individual investors (or “mom and pop” landlords”). I find that the proportion of properties under corporate ownership has increased across all property sizes since 2000, and the proportion of corporate owners that are based out-of-state has also increased. I also find evidence to suggest that different sizes of multi-family properties should be examined distinctly, as I uncover different trends across property sizes in both ownership and eviction rates. Using a fixed effects model, I find that overall, individuals appear to have a higher likelihood of filing an eviction against a tenant compared to institutional landlords in the months before and after a transaction. Finally, I find that large investors amongst both corporates and individuals, defined as investors that own more than 15 properties in Durham, are significantly more likely to evict than smaller investors are.

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Advisors: Professor Christopher Timmins, Professor Colin Rundel | JEL Codes: R3, R31

Durham and Gentrification: Assessing the Impact of Displacement in the Bull City

By Armin Hakimzadeh Ameri

In this paper, I look to Durham, North Carolina, to demonstrate potential harms from gentrification. Using an expansive proprietary dataset, I come to two main conclusions: first, there is a significant link between gentrification and displacement, as low-income renters are constrained by increased prices and are forced to leave their neighborhoods. Second, displaced renters are significantly more likely to move into communities with higher crime rates, worse schools, and increased rates of poverty. These results suggest that the Durham government should enact policies protecting low-income renters and other at-risk groups while also balancing the benefits of gentrification.

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Advisors: Dr. Christopher Timmins, and Dr. Grace Kim | JEL Codes: R2, R3

The Impact of Access to Public Transportation on Residential Property Value: A Comparative Analysis of American Cities

By Moses Snow Wayne

This paper develops a consistent model for analyzing the impact of access to public transportation on property value applied to the four cities of Atlanta, Boston, New York, and San Francisco. This study finds a negative relationship between increasing distance to public transit and property value. Additionally, the elicited effects in each city generally align with geographic features and the degree to which a city is monocentric. This study also demonstrates the salience of using actual map-generated distances as proximity measures and characteristics of public
transit systems in modeling the relationship between public transportation and residential property value.

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Advisors: Dr. Patrick Bayer and Kent Kimbrough | JEL Codes: C12, R14, R30, R41

The Toll of Commuting: The Effects of Commute Time on Well-Being

By M. Thomas Marshall Jr.

When deciding on housing location, people theoretically optimize for the best location given their commute time, housing cost, income, as well as other factors. Stutzer and Frey (2008) suggest that this is not true in some nations, such as in their investigation of Germany, with their results showing that the cost of an average commute is equivalent to 35.4% of the average income. This paper investigates the impact of commute time on the well-being of individuals in the United States, correcting for various other factors that determine housing choice such as race,
age, and whether they have a child living at home. The results of this study are clearly that the relationship found between commuting time and well-being cannot be proven to be statistically significant from zero, so there is not any evidence against optimization.

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Advisor: Kent Kimbrough | JEL Codes: D12, D61, R31, R41

The Impact of Environmental Disamenities on Property Values: Evaluating the Municipal Fringe

By Ryan B. Hoecker

This paper analyzes the municipal fringe of cities in Eastern North Carolina between 2006-2016, and how the values of individual properties on the outskirts can fluctuate after they are
incorporated within a city. A large portion of the research process consisted of manually recreating annexation ordinances from scanned photocopies on ArcGIS, creating the first geographic archive of annexations in North Carolina compatible with digital software. As environmental nuisances, such as landfills and hazardous waste sites, are often located on town borders, this study pays specific attention to how their presence affects the change in property values before and after annexation. Results show that incorporation brings with it higher property values, and that the impact of annexation is greater in the presence of nuisances that threaten water quality for private wells.

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Advisor: Christopher Timmins | JEL Codes: H79, Q53, R31

The Effect of Minority History on Racial Disparities in the Mortgage Market: A Case Study of Durham and New Haven

By Jisoo Yoon

In the aftermath of the housing market crash, the concentration of subprime mortgage loans in minority neighborhoods is a current and long-standing issue. This study investigates the presence of racial disparities in mortgage markets by examining two cities with contrasting histories of African American and Hispanic establishment: Durham, North Carolina and New Haven, Connecticut. This study examines data by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), and distills the effect of minority legacy on the perception of racial risk by using econometric instruments to separate the behavior of national lenders and local lenders. The econometric methods allow national lenders to reflect objective risk measures and neighborhood race dynamics, while local lenders reflect subjective attitudes towards certain races. With its longer history of African American presence, Durham shows a positive attitude towards Black borrowers at the local level, while New Haven shows a more favorable attitude towards its Hispanic residents. Nonetheless, racial legacy also materializes as a negative factor in the form of increased residential segregation and spillover effects. Furthermore, a temporal variation analysis of pre- and post-mortgage market reform data affirms the disappearance of racial bias and continued presence of spillover risk in Durham.

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Advisor: Christopher Timmins | JEL Codes: C01, G21, J15, R21, R23, R31 | Tagged: Econometrics, Mortgages, Economics of Minorities, Races, Census, Migration, Population, Neighborhood Characteristics, Housing Supply and Market

Manufactured Housing Securitization

By Renan Cunha

Through prices of manufactured homes rose in the 2000’s, demand fell dramatically because of the boom in the stick-built housing market. One of the stated goals of securitization is to increase the supply of credit and decrease the cost of lending to make borrowing accessible to more homeowners.  This paper will study the effect of securitization of manufactured home loans on the availability of credit for borrowers in North Carolina.

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Advisor: Charles Becker | JEL Codes: E51, R3, R31 | Tagged: Credit Availability, Manufactured Housing, Securitization, Trailer Parks

Race and Pollution Correlation as Predictor of Environmental Injustice

By Marissa Meir

Environmental injustice is a theory that claims distributions of toxic, hazardous and dangerous waste facilities are disproportionately located in low-income communities of color. This paper empirically demonstrates an alternative cause of environmental injustice- that low-income minorities are less likely to receive sizeable enough loans to buy a house in a cleaner area. It highlights a significant time in history, from 1999 to 2007, when wealth constraints were eased and loan amounts increased for people with the same income. The results show that minorities increase their demand of environmental goods given an increase in loan amounts, suggesting that people of color care about environmental quality, but, due to wealth constraints, do not have the same opportunities
in the housing market.

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Advisor: Christopher Timmins | JEL Codes: P46, P48, Q50, Q53, Q56, Q58, R20, R21, R31, R32 | Tagged: Air Quality, Environmental Injustice, Housing Market, Income, Loan, Wealth Constraints

Economic Racism: A Look at Rental Prices in 1930

By Basel Fakhoury

The Great Migration caused massive demographic changes in Northeastern and Midwestern cities as African Americans moved from the South to the North. These changes led to economic discrimination and segregation within northern cities. This paper compares African American and white rental prices in four major cities: Chicago, Detroit, New York City, and Philadelphia in an effort to see how this discrimination and segregation affected rental prices. The results consistently show that in the most precise geographic area, prices rise as the concentration of blacks in those neighborhoods rise, which I believe is a result of overcrowding.

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Advisor: Patrick Bayer | JEL Codes:  J1, J11, J15, R31 | Tagged: Economic Discrimination, Housing Markets, Segregation, The Great Migration

Trailer Park Economics

By Caitlin Gorback

In this paper, we explore the various reasons behind the development of the American institution of trailer parks. The first two models arise in equilibrium, the last two respond to housing shocks. Models include “Bad Tenants” in which tenants and landowners contract to protect against bad neighbors, a basic “Capital Constraints model in which tenants and landowners share the burden of capital costs, “Uncertain Growth” in which landowners respond to boom and bust economic growth, and “Long vs. Short Run Growth” in which landowners must decide how to invest on their land given rates of land appreciation.

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Advisor: Charles Becker | JEL Codes: R21, R23, R31 | Tagged: Housing, Manufactured Housing, Rural Growth, Trailer Parks, Urban Growth

Questions?

Undergraduate Program Assistant
Jennifer Becker
dus_asst@econ.duke.edu

Director of the Honors Program
Michelle P. Connolly
michelle.connolly@duke.edu