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Whitaker Ideas Forum: Rising waters and falling prices: The effects of flood risk on the Irish housing market

January 30, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Speaker(s): Tom Gillespie

Affiliation: SEMRU

Organised by: Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, NUI Galway

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This seminar explores the relationship between flood risk and housing market outcomes. It uses the case of Ireland, 2006-2017, combining a dataset of 135,000 property listings in areas at risk of flooding and detailed official data relating to flood risk, previous flood events, and completed flood defences. The identification strategy exploits not only a rich set of controls but also the timing of flood events, of the construction of defences, and of the release of flood risk information to the public. There are four main findings. Firstly, information matters. Housing prices responded dramatically to the release of flood risk maps in 2011, with the emergence of a 15% price discount for properties deemed at 1% risk. Secondly, flood defences work. The discount for flood risk disappears after the construction of defences. Thirdly, flood risk is borne unequally. Properties in the lowest quartile of value suffer a 20% discount, compared to a 5% discount for those in the upper half of the distribution. Lastly, the market’s memory of flood events is short: a 15% price discount for being within a flood event disappears after two years. Our findings have important policy implications for flood risk management, insurance and flood defences, as well as for projections of future flood losses in a world of increasing flood risk.

This is one of a series of seminars in the Whitaker Ideas Forum. Tom will be representing the SEMRU cluster.









The Whitaker Ideas Forum is a weekly seminar, running Wednesday’s throughout the semester from 1:00pm-2:00pm in CA110. It provides the opportunity for members of the Institute to showcase their research. The result are presentations that highlight the diversity of the research being undertaken, while allowing for an opportunity to engage in discussions and, sometimes, collaboration with attendees. Below, you will find a list of this semester’s seminars, please click the title for more information on that seminar.

Date Presenter Seminar Topic Whitaker

Research Cluster

23 January Eoin Daly Popular Sovereignty after Brexit Conflict, Humanitarianism and Security
30 January Tom Gillespie Rising waters and falling prices: The effects of flood risk on the Irish housing market SEMRU
6 February Sinead Mellett Farmers perception of climate change in Ireland Innovation and Structural Change
13 February Eimear Heaslip Learning from Living Labs: Experiences from the field Environment, Development and Sustainability
20 February Lorraine D’Arcy Spatial Planning, Urban Design, Transport and Human Health – Much more than footpaths and cycleways Social Sciences Research Centre
27 February Luke McGrath Natural capital accounting for Ireland through boom and bust: Genuine Savings 1990-2016 SEMRU
6 March Dmitry Brychkov Systems Social Marketing Approach to Upscale Galway Cycling System SIPPS
13 March Mairead O’Connor Can temporality theory improve our understanding of project management problems? : A software development perspective Agile and Open Innovation (LERO)
20 March Aristides Vara Horna Domestic Violence and Businesses: Consequences and Responses in Global South Gender and Public Policy
27 March Valerie Ledwith Discounting the Displaced: Examining Hungary’s Denial of Human Security for Migrants, Asylum Seekers and Refugees


Population and Migration