The German Land Transfer Tax: Evidence for Single-Family Home Transactions
||Fritzsche, Carolin; Lars Vandrei
||The German Land Transfer Tax: Evidence for Single-Family Home Transactions
||23rd Annual European Real Estate Society Conference in Regensburg, Germany
||In the real estate market, not only prices influence the number of transactions but also transaction costs like transfer taxes. We use recent data to study the effects of the German land transfer tax. We estimate the impact of the land transfer tax on the number of transactions. We investigate tax increases in different German states for the period from 2005 to 2015. On the one hand, a tax increase may lead to a long-term reduction in real estate transactions. On the other hand, there may be a shift in transactions as buyers and sellers anticipate the higher tax rate and try to avoid it. While BEST and KLEVEN (2015) noticed that some transactions have been brought forward to still take place during a tax holiday in the UK, SELMROD et al. (2013) do not find a significant anticipatory effect for their empirical analysis of transactions in Washington D. C. With regard to the long-term effect, empirical evidence is clearer: DACHIS et al. (2012) and SLEMROD et al. (2013) observe a decline in sales after an increase in the transfer tax. Furthermore, BESLEY et al. (2014) find that more housing transactions took place during a land transfer tax holiday in the UK. For the case of Germany, there are no empirical studies so far. Our goal is to separate the short-term anticipatory effect from the long-term effect on real estate transactions. We apply different econometric estimations. The monthly number of transactions within states are explained by the anticipatory effect, the transfer tax levels and control variables. The anticipatory effect is measured with the help of three dummy variables for the months before the tax increase and again three dummy variables for the months after the tax increase. The long-term decrease in transactions is captured by the transfer tax level while controlling for the anticipatory effect. We estimate a fixed effects panel regression and find that a one percentage point increase in the land transfer tax goes along with 11% fewer transactions. The 11% can be split into an anticipatory effect and a long-term effect on transactions. The anticipatory effect results in 38% more transactions right before the tax increase and 31% fewer transactions right after the tax increase. The long-term effect on transactions is estimated to about 6% less transactions for a one percentage point higher transaction tax.
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||Real Estate Economics
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