A real options approach to housing investment
AbstractIn this paper, we study investments by existing homeowners to improve their homes. The value of a house is modeled as the expected net present value of a perpetual stream of service flows emanating from the attributes of the house. An important innovation in our model is that the set of house attributes evolves over time according to the investment decisions of the homeowner. The homeowner's decisions to invest in house attributes are modeled as real options. Our model of investment embeds a multi-factor term structure model and a general model of the evolution of service flows. We employ numeric simulations to explore the properties of the investment model, and to motivate our empirical test of the model. Using a panel from the American Housing Survey, we test two implications of the real option theory. We test whether investment is more likely when the spread between the return to housing and the cost of capital is wide, and we test whether greater spread volatility depresses investment. The results indicate that homeowner investment behavior is consistent with the theory, even after controlling for business cycle, aging, tenure and for-sale influences.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2000-30.
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kris Vajs).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.