Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Puzzling Divergence of U.S. Rents and User Costs, 1980-2004: Summary and Extensions

Contents:

Author Info

  • Thesia I. Garner

    ()
    (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • Randal Verbrugge

    ()
    (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Abstract

This paper constructs, for the five largest cities in the United States, user costs and rents for the same structure, in levels (i.e., measured in dollars). The levels formulation is a major advantage over indexes since one can answer questions like "Is it cheaper to rent or to own?" or "Are houses overvalued?" because such questions are essentially about the levels of rents and house prices and their fundamentals. These new measures are constructed using Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) Interview data from 1982 to 2002, along with house price appreciation forecasts from Verbrugge (2007a). Characteristics, current market value, and rental equivalence of owner-occupied housing are used in a regression framework to predict the rent associated with a structure with median characteristics in each city. The property value of this median house is used to construct a user cost estimate for this structure. We find that, for the median structure in each city, estimated user costs and rents diverge to a surprising degree, in keeping with the previously noted findings of Verbrugge (2007a). It is not always cheaper to own: user costs sometimes lie well above rents. Finally, the dynamics of the estimated price-to-rent ratio are generally similar to those found in conventional estimates based upon indexes, suggesting that the present study might be useful for scaling or normalizing other estimates.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.bls.gov/ore/pdf/ec070080.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in its series Working Papers with number 409.

as in new window
Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bls:wpaper:ec070080

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 2 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E. Room 2860, Washington, D. C. 20212
Phone: (202) 606-5900
Fax: (202) 606-7890
Email:
Web page: http://www.bls.gov
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: User Costs; Arbitrage; Transaction Costs; House Price Appreciation; Consumer Expenditure Survey; Forecasting; Inflation Stickiness; Rental Equivalence; CPI;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Karl E Case & John M Quigley & Robert J Shiller, 2003. "Home-buyers, Housing and the Macroeconomy," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Anthony Richards & Tim Robinson (ed.), Asset Prices and Monetary Policy Reserve Bank of Australia.
  2. Richard A. Ashley & Randal J. Verbrugge, 2009. "To difference or not to difference: a Monte Carlo investigation of inference in vector autoregression models," International Journal of Data Analysis Techniques and Strategies, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 1(3), pages 242-274.
  3. Morris A. Davis & Jonathan Heathcote, 2004. "The price and quantity of residential land in the United States," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-37, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Theodore M. Crone & Leonard I. Nakamura & Richard Voith, 2004. "The CPI for rents: a case of understated inflation," Working Papers 04-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  5. Blackley, Dixie M. & Follain, James R., 1996. "In search of empirical evidence that links rent and user cost," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 409-431, June.
  6. Richard Ashley & Randal Verbrugge, 2009. "Frequency Dependence in Regression Model Coefficients: An Alternative Approach for Modeling Nonlinear Dynamic Relationships in Time Series," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(1-3), pages 4-20.
  7. Antonia Díaz & Maria J. Luengo-Prado, 2006. "On The User Cost and Homeownership," Working Papers 2006-14, FEDEA.
  8. Case, Bradford & Pollakowski, Henry O & Wachter, Susan M, 1997. "Frequency of Transaction and House Price Modeling," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1-2), pages 173-87, Jan.-Marc.
  9. Case, Karl E & Shiller, Robert J, 1989. "The Efficiency of the Market for Single-Family Homes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 125-37, March.
  10. Clemen, Robert T., 1989. "Combining forecasts: A review and annotated bibliography," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 559-583.
  11. Theodore M. Crone & Leonard I. Nakamura & Richard Voith, 1999. "Measuring housing services inflation," Working Papers 99-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Christian E. Weller, 2009. "Did Retirees Save Enough to Compensate for the Increase in Individual Risk Exposure?," Working Papers wp206, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  2. 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.
  3. Marianna Kudlyak, 2012. "Housing services price inflation," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 3Q, pages 185-207.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bls:wpaper:ec070080. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gregory Kurtzon).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.