NEHRP Clearinghouse

Real Estate Agents and the Dissemination of Information on Natural Hazards in the Urban Area.
Palm, R.
National Science Foundation, Washington, DC. Engineering and Applied Science., January 1980, 148 p.
The study was undertaken to assess the effects of mandated disclosure as a means of informing and protecting prospective homebuyers of their financial commitments, especially in regard to natural hazards. Interest in the study was based on a California law which requires that the State's real estate agents or sellers inform prospective homebuyers if property lies within one-eight mile of a trace of an active earthquake fault. The empirical portion of the study was based on surveys conducted in two housing submarkets within the San Francisco Bay region. The two areas provide a contrast in age of housing and visible damage attributable to fault creep, but are comparable in socioeconomic status and racial composition. Data were obtained from surveys of recent homebuyers within or close to the study zones and from real estate agents involved in disclosures. The clearest finding is the ineffectiveness of the law--that the legislation has failed to produce measurable response, either in buyer behavior or house price trends. Included in the report are reviews of empirical and theoretical literature from economics, communications, and social psychology.
; Law (Jurisprudence); Ethics; Regulations; State government; Earthquakes; Real property; Urban areas; California; Assessments; Communicating