Center for Real Estate
2016-2017 Research Grants

In response to the 2016-2017 Call for Proposals, the Ohio State Center for Real Estate received 10 applications and has selected five proposals for funding. The projects represented two different departments across Ohio State campus and ranged in topics from the role housing plays in supporting healthy birth outcomes for high risk mothers to how securtities laws can be utilized to smooth business cycles in real estate development.

Grant report summaries

  • Dr. Zhenhua Chen, Department of City and Regional Planning, “Is Online Housing Data Reliable for Hedonic Pricing Analysis: An Observation from the Housing Market in Columbus, OH”

    The burgeoning development of online real estate marketplaces has greatly facilitated housing studies given the widespread applications of computerized web-scrapping and web-crawling technologies. Although these housing big data provide researchers with a wide range of geo-spatial information of housing properties, a fundamental question regarding how reliable the data is for housing pricing analysis remains unclear. This paper aims to address this question by conducting a comparative assessment based on different online housing data sources using the housing market in Columbus OH as an example. For the first time, the data of three real estate marketplaces, including Realtor, Redfin and Zillow were compared and analyzed using the auditor data as a benchmark. The results show that although these datasets cover the same geographic area and time period, data characteristics, such as housing sales price are found to be heterogeneous across different data sources. Specifically, the listing price, the transaction price and the estimated price of Zillow were found to be 53.2%, 23.7% and 39% higher than the auditor data, respectively, whereas the listing price of Realtor and Redfin were found to be 34% and 46.2% higher than that of the auditor data, respectively.

  • Andrew Doup, Moritz College of Law, “Private Equity Real Estate: Navigating the Securities Laws to Recession-Proof Real Estate Development”

    A local real estate developer that is able to successfully navigate the securities laws may unlock a source of project financing that could not only untether it from the next economic recession, but could also result in the most tax efficient form of real estate development available. Equity financing, or more specifically, private equity fundraising, enables developers to not only insulate their projects from a sensitive debt market, but it also enables developers to maximize profits by converting the character of their taxable income from ordinary into long-term capital gain, taxable at lower preferential rates. Private equity fundraising, then, provides a true competitive advantage over traditional debt financing, and its use has never been greater. However, local real estate developers face a significant barrier to entry. Private equity is governed by one of the most complex areas of the law — the securities laws — and penalty for violation can be significant. The purpose of this paper is to provide a basic framework for the securities laws applied to real estate development by navigating (1) the Securities Act of 1933; (2) the Investment Company Act of 1940; and (3) the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

  • Dr. Jason W. Reece, Department of City and Regional Planning, “Housing & Health: Understanding the Role of Housing in Supporting Healthy Birth Outcomes for High Risk Mothers”

    “Segregated, Redlined, Bulldozed, Foreclosed and Evicted: Understanding the Complex Role of Housing as an Intergenerational and Life Course Risk Factor for Maternal and Infant Health” by Jason Reece,PhD and Hui Jeong Ha, PhD student, City and Regional Planning, Knowlton School of Architecture

    The relationship between housing and health is long reflected in research and policy, but the complexity of this relationship and the depth of impact is still being understood. Emerging research suggests that the impact of housing on health is complex, multifaceted and intergenerational. The research paper seeks to illuminate the deep and complex relationship between housing and health, with an emphasis on infant and maternal health. Our analysis of the relationship between housing challenges and infant mortality in Ohio’s urban infant mortality hot spot neighborhoods demonstrates the complexity of the role of housing as a social stressor in these areas. Our case study of stakeholders in two Columbus infant mortality hot spot neighborhoods documents that housing is the primary community need in each place and produces extensive stress for mothers with young children. Additionally, we see that most mothers in these communities still aspire for a modest version of home ownership, but feel unable to pursue this version of the “American dream” for their family due to various barriers. Our data also suggests that family support networks are the primary housing “safety net” for these families. The data presented in this article suggest that robust housing interventions must be considered as an important social determinant of health strategy to improve maternal health and reduce infant mortality.

  • Dr. Gulsah Akar and Dr. Jee Young Lee, Department of City and Regional Planning, “Affordable Housing and Environmental Risk in Ohio”

    The purpose of this research was to examine the spatial distributions of environmental risks and their overlap with locations of subsidized housing programs in the Columbus and Cleveland/Elyria MSAs in Ohio. We focused on patterns of hazard exposure by assisted housing type, according to two environmental risks: proximity to toxic release facilities and special flood hazard areas. In this study, we obtained four key datasets in order to examine natural and man-made hazard risks, the locations of subsidized housing, and neighborhood features. We used spatial analysis and GIS techniques to visualize their spatial distributions and identify patterns in the spatial relationships among the locations of subsidized housing, environmental risk areas (Toxic Release Inventory [TRI] locations and floodplains), and other housing and population information. Our study has shown that many TRI facilities are located in areas where the median housing value and income are low. In addition, much of the subsidized housing is located within a certain distance from a TRI site. Over 45 percent of the subsidized housing was located within 1 mile, and about 78 percent was located within 2 miles of a TRI facility. Our findings indicate that several tenants of subsidized housing are at potential risk from TRI facilities, based on their proximity. Our study also found patterns similar to previous work, in that public housing units were often located in the most disadvantaged areas (Galster, 2013). Our results also showed similar patterns of exposure to TRI facilities. We found that most public housing sites (90 percent) were located within 2 miles of a TRI facility. Over 75 percent of LIHTC and project-based Section 8 locations were situated within a 2-mile distance of TRI areas. Regarding flood risks, our results showed that approximately 1.9 percent of subsidized housing sites were positioned within combined 100- and 500-year floodplains.

  • Dr. Bernadette Hanlon, Dr. Zhenhua Chen, Whitney Airgood-Obrycki, Department of City and Regional Planning, “An Uneven Bounce Back: Why Only Some Neighborhoods Experienced Housing Market Recovery in Cuyahoga County, Ohio”