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Immigration and Swiss House Prices

Summary

This study examines the behavior of Swiss house prices in relation to immigration flows for 85 regions from 2001 to 2006. The results show that the nexus between immigration and house prices holds even in an environment of low house price inflation and modest immigration flows. An immigration inflow equal to 1 % of an area’s population is coincident with an increase in prices for single-family homes of about 2.7 %, a result consistent with previous studies. The overall immigration effect for single-family houses captures almost two-thirds of the total price increase.

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Correspondence to Kathrin Degen.

Additional information

This paper was written when Kathrin Degen was with the Swiss National Bank. The views and opinions expressed in this paper are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Swiss National Bank or the State Secretariat of Economic Affairs. The authors would like to thank Barthélémy Bonadio, Martin Brown, Tommaso Frattini, Sarah Lein, Albert Saiz, Steven Stillman, and an anonymous referee for their valuable comments. The authors also benefited from discussions with Urs Hausmann and Dieter Marmet from Wüest & Partner and numerous students from Swiss Universities. Data and code are available from the authors. The authors acknowledge use of the dataset described in Mack and Martinez-Garcia (2011).

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Degen, K., Fischer, A.M. Immigration and Swiss House Prices. Swiss J Economics Statistics 153, 15–36 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03399433

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JEL-Classification

  • F22
  • J61
  • R21

Keywords

  • immigration
  • housing prices