I am a tenure-track advanced researcher in real estate and household finance at ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research in Mannheim, Germany. My research interests can be summarised as "new and old data" and my areas of research include residential real estate and urban economics, household finance, and economic and urban history. In particular, I am interested in how people make their housing decisions, what factors play into these decisions and what the outcomes are. At the moment I am fascinated by homes as an aesthetic consumption good: is urban appearance in the built environment valued and if so, how much does it contribute to house prices? Does information derived from images of the built environment help us get a better understanding of property prices? Also, I am interested in historical housing markets: how have house prices developed over time and what can we learn from them? How did property markets work back then; were the same economic forces at play that we know from modern cities? In my current household finance research, I use detailed household data representative of German households to analyse topics of political or societal interest. Read more about my research here.
At ZEW, I am responsible for the research area "Household Finance and Real Estate". One of my projects there is the German Real Estate Finance Index (DIFI), a quarterly survey among real estate experts, which I edit in cooperation with Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). I am also the principal investigator in two research projects on aesthetics in the built environment and reverse mortgages as an instrument for one's old-age income. Lastly, I chair the annual ReCapNet (Real Estate and Capital Markets Network) conference.