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Do house prices reflect fundamentals? Aggregate and panel data evidence

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  • Mikhed, Vyacheslav
  • Zemcík, Petr

Abstract

We investigate whether recently high and consequently rapidly decreasing U.S. house prices have been justified by fundamental factors such as personal income, population, house rent, stock market wealth, building costs, and mortgage rate. We first conduct the standard unit root and cointegration tests with aggregate data. Nationwide analysis potentially suffers from problems of the low power of stationarity tests and the ignorance of dependence among regional house markets. Therefore, we also employ panel data stationarity tests which are robust to cross-sectional dependence. Contrary to previous panel studies of the U.S. housing market, we consider several, not just one, fundamental factors. Our results confirm that panel data unit root tests have greater power as compared with univariate tests. However, the overall conclusions are the same for both methodologies. The house price does not align with the fundamentals in sub-samples prior to 1996 and from 1997 to 2006. It appears that the real estate prices take long swings from their fundamental value and it can take decades before they revert to it. The most recent correction (a collapsed bubble) occurred around 2006.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Housing Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 140-149

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhouse:v:18:y:2009:i:2:p:140-149

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622881

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Keywords: C33 G12 R21 R31 Panel data House prices Cointegration Fundamentals Bubble;

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  1. Pesaran, M.H., 2003. "A Simple Panel Unit Root Test in the Presence of Cross Section Dependence," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0346, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
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  4. Pasaran, M.H. & Im, K.S. & Shin, Y., 1995. "Testing for Unit Roots in Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9526, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
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  11. Vyacheslav Mikhed & Petr Zemcik, 2007. "Testing for Bubbles in Housing Markets: A Panel Data Approach," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp338, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  12. Jonathan McCarthy & Richard W. Peach, 2004. "Are home prices the next "bubble"?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Dec, pages 1-17.
  13. James M. Poterba, 1983. "Tax Subsidies to Owner-occupied Housing: An Asset Market Approach," Working papers 339, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  15. Peter Pedroni, 2004. "Panel Cointegration: Asymptotic and Finite Sample Properties of Pooled Time Series Tests with an Application to the PPP Hypothesis," Department of Economics Working Papers 2004-15, Department of Economics, Williams College.
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