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Can Owning a Home Hedge the Risk of Moving?

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  • Todd Sinai
  • Nicholas Souleles

Abstract

For households that face a possibility of moving across MSAs, the risk of home owning depends on the covariance of the sale prices of their current houses with the purchase prices of their likely future houses. We find empirically that households tend to move between highly correlated MSAs, significantly increasing the distribution of expected correlations in real house price growth across MSAs, and so raising the "moving-hedge" value of owning. Own/rent decisions are sensitive to this hedging value, with households being more likely to own when their hedging value is greater due to higher expected correlations and likelihoods of moving. JEL (D14, R21, R23, R31)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 5 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 282-312

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:5:y:2013:i:2:p:282-312

Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.5.2.282
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  1. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko & Joseph Tracy, 2008. "Housing Busts and Household Mobility," NBER Working Papers 14310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Campbell, John & Cocco, Joao, 2007. "How Do House Prices Affect Consumption? Evidence from Micro Data," Scholarly Articles 3122600, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller & John M. Quigley, 2001. "Comparing Wealth Effects: The Stock Market Versus the Housing Market," NBER Working Papers 8606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Cunningham, Christopher R. & Engelhardt, Gary V., 2008. "Housing capital-gains taxation and homeowner mobility: Evidence from the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 803-815, May.
  5. Davidoff, Thomas, 2006. "Labor income, housing prices, and homeownership," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 209-235, March.
  6. Chan, Sewin, 2001. "Spatial Lock-in: Do Falling House Prices Constrain Residential Mobility?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 567-586, May.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Houses are a poor way to share risk
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-11-02 15:26:00
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Cited by:
  1. Dröes, Martijn I. & Hassink, Wolter H.J., 2013. "House price risk and the hedging benefits of home ownership," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 92-99.
  2. Christian A. L. Hilber & Wouter Vermeulen, 2012. "The Impact of Supply Constraints on House Prices in England," SERC Discussion Papers 0119, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  3. Ortalo-Magné, François & Prat, Andrea, 2011. "On the Political Economy of Urban Growth: Homeownership versus Affordability," CEPR Discussion Papers 8243, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Tatiana Kirsanova & Jack Rogers, 2013. "Fixed versus Variable Rate Debt Contracts and Optimal Monetary Policy," Discussion Papers 1306, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  5. McDuff, DeForest, 2011. "Demand substitution across US cities: Observable similarity and home price correlation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 1-14, July.
  6. Sejeong Ha & Christian A. L. Hilber, 2013. "Do Long Distance Moves Discourage Homeownership? Evidence from England," SERC Discussion Papers 0141, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  7. M.I. Dröes & H. Garretsen & W.J.J. Manshanden, 2012. "The Diversification Benefits of Free Trade in House Value," Working Papers 12-03, Utrecht School of Economics.
  8. Robert J. Shiller, 2014. "Why Is Housing Finance Still Stuck in Such a Primitive Stage?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 73-76, May.
  9. Jordan Rappaport, 2010. "The effectiveness of homeownership in building household wealth," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 35-65.

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  1. Economic Logic blog

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