“There is a growing debate about whether new housing units increase rents for immediately surrounding apartments. Some argue new market-rate development produces a supply effect, which should alleviate the demand pressure on existing housing units and decrease their rents. Others contend that new development will attract high-income households and new amenities, generating an amenity effect and driving up rents. In this paper, I contribute to this debate by estimating the impact of new high-rises on nearby residential rents, residential property sales prices, and restaurant openings in New York City. To address the selection bias that developers are more likely to build new high-rises in fast-appreciating areas, I restrict the sample to residential properties near approved new high-rises and exploit the plausibly exogenous timing of completion conditional upon the timing of approval. I provide event study evidence that for every 10% increase in the housing stock, rents decrease 1% and sales prices also decrease within 500 feet. In addition, I show that new high-rises attract new restaurants, which is consistent with the hypothesis about amenity effects. However, I find that the supply effect is larger, causing net reductions in the rents and sales prices of nearby residential properties.”
December 16, 2019
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