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Research Seminars & Workshops @ IRES

Melting Pot or Salad Bowl: Cultural Distance and Housing Investments

Dr Maggie Hu
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Date: 17 February 2017 (Friday)
Time: 10.00am – 11.30am
Venue: DRE Meeting Room @ DRE General Office, SDE1 #03-03
Chair: Associate Professor Sing Tien Foo

Dr. Maggie Rong Hu is currently an Assistant Professor of Real Estate and Finance at Chinese University of Hong Kong. She received her PhD in Finance in 2013, and Bachelor of Engineering from National University of Singapore in 2008. After obtaining her PhD degree, she worked for three years as an Assistant Professor of Finance at the School of Banking and Finance, University of New South Wales Australia. Her main research interests include banking, real estate finance, behavioural finance and empirical corporate finance. Her research papers have been presented at several international finance and real estate conferences, and published in leading journals such as Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis and Real Estate Economics. Her paper on cultural distance and housing investment won two best paper awards at the Global Real Estate Summit (AsRES joint with GCREC) 2015, and also at the 4th Indonesian Financial Management Association (IFMA) International Conference. She was also a chief investigator for several research grants, including the prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant in collaboration with CorVal Partners Limited with a total grant value AUD $625,000 for three years.

We investigate whether individuals’ cultural background affects their housing investment decisions, drawing inference from property location choice and transaction prices. Utilizing housing transaction data of culturally diverse Sydney, Australia, we find that investors are more likely to choose properties in neighborhoods with a shorter cultural distance to their culture of origin and are willing to pay a premium for properties in those locations, consistent with investors’ preference for cultural proximity. Further, we show that home culture preference is stronger for ethnicities from recent migration waves, particularly Asia. Our findings have implications for the role of culture preference on asset pricing.

For more information please contact IRES at 6516 8288 or 6516 6947

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