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Bubble, Bubble, Where's the Housing Bubble?

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  • Margaret Hwang Smith

    (Pomona College)

  • Gary Smith

    (Pomona College)

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    Abstract

    Discussions of whether a housing bubble exists generally rely on indirect barometers such as rapidly increasing prices, unrealistic expectations of future price increases, and rising ratios of housing price indexes to indexes of household income. Such measures cannot, however, answer the key question of whether housing prices are justified by the value of the services that a home provides. We show how to estimate the fundamental value of a home from rent data. We then apply this procedure in ten metropolitan areas, using a unique set of rent and sale price data for matched single-family homes. We do not find evidence of a bubble in most of these cities: under a variety of plausible assumptions, buying a home in these cities today still appears to be an attractive long-term investment.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution in its journal Brookings Papers on Economic Activity.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 1-68

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    Handle: RePEc:bin:bpeajo:v:37:y:2006:i:2006-1:p:1-68

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    Keywords: housing bubble; macroeconomics; bubble; house;

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    Cited by:
    1. Joseph Gyourko & Eduardo Morales & Charles Nathanson & Edward Glaeser, 2011. "Housing Dynamics," 2011 Meeting Papers 307, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. MeiChi Huang, 2013. "The Role of People’s Expectation in the Recent US Housing Boom and Bust," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 452-479, April.
    3. Edward E. Leamer, 2007. "Housing is the business cycle," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 149-233.
    4. Cabray L. Haines & Richard J. Rosen, 2007. "Bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 16-35.
    5. Yongqiang Chu, 2014. "Credit constraints, inelastic supply, and the housing boom," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(1), pages 52-69, January.
    6. John V. Duca & John Muellbauer & Anthony Murphy, 2010. "Housing Markets and the Financial Crisis of 2007-2009: Lessons for the Future," SERC Discussion Papers 0049, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    7. Ing-Haw Cheng & Sahil Raina & Wei Xiong, 2013. "Wall Street and the Housing Bubble," NBER Working Papers 18904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Madsen, Jakob B., 2009. "Taxes and the fundamental value of houses," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 365-376, May.
    9. Olesya Baker & Phil Doctor & Eric French, 2007. "Asset rundown after retirement: the importance of rate of return shocks," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 48-65.

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