“I know hurricane shutters can help save my house, but can they help sell it?”

Dean Gatzlaff (Real Estate), Kathleen McCullough (Associate Dean, College of Business), Lori Medders (Center Director) and Chuck Nyce (Risk Management/ Insurance) recently completed research on The Impact of Hurricane Mitigation Features and Inspection Information on House Prices. Some house features are obvious to buyers and sellers (visible) and others are not easily observed (hidden). Prior research on the relationship between mitigation features and house prices has implicitly assumed the features are known and that buyers and sellers are equally informed. Gatzlaff, McCullough, Medders and Nyce examined the potentially different effects of the visible and hidden features, and the verification of each by professional inspection, on prices in a realistic environment – the Miami-Dade housing market. They found that houses with easily visible mitigation features garner higher prices than those without; that the effects of the visible and hidden mitigation features on price differ significantly; and that mitigation inspection information significantly increases the value of mitigation features, whether otherwise easily visible or difficult to see. Their completed paper is forthcoming in the Journal of Real Estate and Financial Economics.