Well-being and Housing Market Indicators in Hawaii

This technical report summarizes how neighborhood housing price appreciation can impact the quality of life beyond individual-level impacts. Using the ZTRAX database provided by Zillow, Gallup data and American Community Survey data for Hawaii in the period of 2008-2017, we develop plausibly unbiased housing measures, especially price appreciation and sales volume curves, for each area. We then examine whether the variation in those housing measures are independently associated with the well-being net of individual characteristics. Our main findings indicate that areas with high housing prices contain happier people, but only because those people are more wealthy. Besides, people who have just relocated into a neighborhood seem to be happier than those who have been there for some time. We find a negative association between increasing housing prices and well-being although data limitations restrict our ability to assert a null effect.