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Rental Adjustment and Housing Prices: Evidence from Hong Kong's Residential Property Market

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Author Info

  • Honglin Wang

    (Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)

  • Chu Zhang

    (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)

  • Weihang Dai

    (The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)

Abstract

This paper investigates the interaction between housing prices and housing rentals. Standard economic models treat housing prices as the present discounted value of future rentals with the latter treated as exogenous. Casual observation, however, suggests that changes in rental prices often follow housing price changes. Economic theory also supports the view that rental prices may not be exogenous. Extending the user-cost model of house price determination, we propose that expected returns on alternative investments contribute positively to the rental adjustment process. We estimate an empirical model for Hong Kong house prices and show that a 1% change in the gap between rental yields and equilibrium whole economy capital returns, the return gap, implies a 0.30% change in real rents. One policy implication is that price changes in the housing market can impact the rental adjustment process by changing the return gap. Consequently, variation in the price-to-rent ratio, which is often used to measure the divergence of housing prices from their equilibrium level can underestimate the size of any housing market 'bubble'.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research in its series Working Papers with number 012013.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:012013

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Related research

Keywords: Rental Adjustment; Residential Property Market; Price-To-Rent Ratio;

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References

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  1. Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals, and Misperceptions," NBER Working Papers 11643, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Patric H. Hendershott & Bryan D. MacGregor & Raymond Y.C. Tse, 2002. "Estimation of the Rental Adjustment Process," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 30(2), pages 165-183.
  3. Eubank, Arthur A, Jr & Sirmans, C F, 1979. "The Price Adjustment Mechanism for Rental Housing in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 163-68, February.
  4. Poterba, James M, 1984. "Tax Subsidies to Owner-occupied Housing: An Asset-Market Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(4), pages 729-52, November.
  5. Hendershott, Patric H., 1996. "Rental Adjustment and Valuation in Overbuilt Markets: Evidence from the Sydney Office Market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 51-67, January.
  6. Rui Yao, 2005. "Optimal Consumption and Portfolio Choices with Risky Housing and Borrowing Constraints," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(1), pages 197-239.
  7. Thesia I. Garner & Randal Verbrugge, 2007. "Puzzling Divergence of U.S. Rents and User Costs, 1980-2004: Summary and Extensions," Working Papers 409, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  8. Wheaton, William C, 1990. "Vacancy, Search, and Prices in a Housing Market Matching Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1270-92, December.
  9. Charles Ka-Yui Leung & Nan-Kuang Chen, 2005. "Intrinsic Cycles of Land Price: A Simple Model," Departmental Working Papers _166, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
  10. William C. Wheaton & Raymond G. Torto, 1988. "Vacancy Rates and the Future of Office Rents," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 16(4), pages 430-436.
  11. Rosen, Kenneth T & Smith, Lawrence B, 1983. "The Price-Adjustment Process for Rental Housing and the Natural Vacancy Rate," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 779-86, September.
  12. CharlesKaYui Leung & Nan-Kuang Chen, 2010. "Stock Price Volatility, Negative Autocorrelation And The Consumption-Wealth Ratio: The Case Of Constant Fundamentals," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 224-245, 05.
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Cited by:
  1. Honglin Wang & Fan Yu & Yinggang Zhou, 2013. "Rental Rates under Housing Price Uncertainty: A Real Options Approach," Working Papers 242013, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.

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