A Market for Institutions: Assessing the Impact of Restrictive Covenants on Housing

William H. Rogers

Abstract

Residential Community Associations (RCAs) are quickly becoming a common but controversial feature of the housing market. Previously published empirical work on the impact of RCA zoning has been limited in institutional detail and has not corrected for spatial autocorrelation. This paper uses 1,487 single-family sales in 2000 from Greeley, Colorado, and a unique dataset that includes information on RCAs’ various use restrictions, building restrictions, and voting rules to investigate the impact of private zoning on the housing market. The main model of interest finds that building restrictions have no impact on prices, while use restrictions increase prices. (JEL R14, R21)