Risk Disclosure and Home Prices

Evidence from California Wildfire Hazard Zones

Lala Ma, Margaret Walls, Matthew Wibbenmeyer and Connor Lennon


Damages from wildfires have increased dramatically in recent years. This study uses a boundary discontinuity design to estimate the effect of wildfire hazard disclosure on house prices. Using the universe of single-family sales transactions from the Zillow ZTRAX program in California from 2015 through 2022, we find that, on average, homes that faced disclosure requirements sold for approximately 4.3 percent less than nearby homes that did not. Price impacts are higher in recent years, following several damaging wildfires. Our findings highlight the use of disclosure regulations to ensure that disaster risks are reflected in housing markets.