Opioid Crisis and Housing Market Effects

Walter J. D'Lima¹ (with Mark Thibodeau²)

1 Strome College of Business, Old Dominion University

2 Hollo School of Real Estate, Florida International University

We present a novel view of housing market effects that relates the opioid crisis to house prices. With data on opioid prescriptions and analysis of repeat sales for Ohio, we find that house price changes around pharmacies are negatively associated with the quantities of opioids dispensed. The results are consistent across different measures of opioids by pharmacy location. In addition, we present a series of robustness checks to further identify the underlying channel. We show that the effect mitigates over distance and is most pronounced on properties near to opioid dispense locations. In addition, we show that the effect is more pronounced for areas that have a higher proportion of blue collar jobs that typically involve a greater propensity for opioid pain prescriptions. Overall, we link the opioid crisis and the rise in prescription opioids to housing markets.