2022/10: Decomposing the impact of immigration on house prices
Immigrant inflows affect local house prices by increasing housing demand when housing supply is fixed. In this paper, I show that we can formally decompose total demand changes into changes stemming from an immediate increase in population due to new arrivals (“partial effect”) and additional changes in demand from relocated natives (“induced effect”). I propose a methodology to separately estimate these two effects using Spanish provinces’ data from 2001- 2012. Applying an instrumental variables approach, I find that a 1 p.p. increase in the immigration rate increases average house prices by 3.3% and rents by 1%. Partial demand estimates are 24% smaller than the total estimates, due to immigrants and natives locating in the same provinces. The results show that accounting for the impact of immigration on native location choices is key to understanding net demand adjustments, as partial and total effects can significantly differ depending on native population mobility.