Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals, and Misperceptions

Contents:

Author Info

  • Charles Himmelberg
  • Christopher Mayer
  • Todd Sinai

Abstract

We construct measures of the annual cost of single-family housing for 46 metropolitan areas in the United States over the last 25 years and compare them with local rents and incomes as a way of judging the level of housing prices. Conventional metrics like the growth rate of house prices, the price-to-rent ratio, and the price-to-income ratio can be misleading because they fail to account both for the time series pattern of real long-term interest rates and predictable differences in the long-run growth rates of house prices across local markets. These factors are especially important in recent years because house prices are theoretically more sensitive to interest rates when rates are already low, and more sensitive still in those cities where the long-run rate of house price growth is high. During the 1980s, our measures show that houses looked most overvalued in many of the same cities that subsequently experienced the largest house price declines. We find that from the trough of 1995 to 2004, the cost of owning rose somewhat relative to the cost of renting, but not, in most cities, to levels that made houses look overvalued.

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.nber.org/papers/w11643.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11643.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Himmelberg, Charles, Christopher Mayer and Todd Sinai. "Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals and Misperceptions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2005, v19(4,Fall), 67-92.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11643

Note: AP PE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

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. Todd Sinai & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2005. "Owner-occupied housing as a hedge against rent risk," Working Papers 05-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  2. David Genesove & Christopher J. Mayer, 1994. "Equity and Time to Sale in the Real Estate Market," NBER Working Papers 4861, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. John Campbell & Joao F. Cocco, 2002. "Household Risk Management and Optimal Mortgage Choice," Computing in Economics and Finance 2002 47, Society for Computational Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
  6. Patric H. Hendershott & Joel Slemrod, 1982. "Taxes and the User Cost of Capital for Owner-Occupied Housing," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 10(4), pages 375-393.
  7. Christopher J. Mayer, 1993. "Taxes, income distribution, and the real estate cycle: why all houses do not appreciate at the same rate," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue May, pages 39-50.
  8. Antonio M. Merlo & François Ortalo-Magné, 2002. "Bargaining over Residential Real Estate: Evidence from England," CESifo Working Paper Series 778, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Genesove, David & Mayer, Christopher, 2001. "Loss Aversion and Seller Behaviour: Evidence from the Housing Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 2813, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Ortalo-Magné, François & Rady, Sven, 2001. "Housing Market Dynamics: On the Contribution of Income Shocks and Credit Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 3015, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Hwang, Min & Quigley, John M., 2006. "Economic Fundamentals in Local Housing Markets: Evidence from U.S. Metropolitan Regions," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt79d325cm, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  12. Piazzesi, Monika & Schneider, Martin & Tuzel, Selale, 2007. "Housing, consumption and asset pricing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 531-569, March.
  13. Juan Ayuso & Fernando Restoy, 2003. "House prices and rents: an equilibrium asset pricing approach," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0304, Banco de Espa�a.
  14. Venti, Steven F. & Wise, David A., 1991. "Aging and the income value of housing wealth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 371-397, April.
  15. Owen Lamont & Jeremy C. Stein, 1997. "Leverage and House-Price Dynamics in U.S. Cities," NBER Working Papers 5961, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Francois Ortalo-Magne & Sven Rady, 1998. "Boom In, Bust Out: Young Households and the Housing Price Cycle," Finance 9810004, EconWPA, revised 25 Oct 1998.
  17. Brueckner, Jan K., 1987. "The structure of urban equilibria: A unified treatment of the muth-mills model," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 20, pages 821-845 Elsevier.
  18. Paul Bennett & Richard Peach & Stavros Peristiani, 1997. "Structural change in the mortgage market and the propensity to refinance," Research Paper 9736, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  19. Hanushek, Eric A & Quigley, John M, 1980. "What Is the Price Elasticity of Housing Demand?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(3), pages 449-54, August.
  20. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1990. "Symposium on Bubbles," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 13-18, Spring.
  21. Joao Cocco, 2000. "Hedging House Price Risk With Incomplete Markets," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 317, Society for Computational Economics.
  22. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko & Raven Saks, 2005. "Why Have Housing Prices Gone Up?," NBER Working Papers 11129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Engelhardt, Gary V, 1996. "Consumption, Down Payments, and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(2), pages 255-71, May.
  24. Edward L. Glaeser & Albert Saiz, 2003. "The rise of the skilled city," Working Papers 04-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  25. Stein, Jeremy C, 1995. "Prices and Trading Volume in the Housing Market: A Model with Down-Payment Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 379-406, May.
  26. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The behavior of home buyers in boom and post-boom markets," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Nov, pages 29-46.
  27. Joseph Gyourko & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2013. "Superstar Cities," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 167-99, November.
  28. François Ortalo-Magné & Sven Randy, 2001. "Housing market dynamics: on the contribution of income shocks and credit constraints," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25049, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  29. Engelhardt Gary V., 1994. "House Prices and the Decision to Save for Down Payments," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 209-237, September.
  30. 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.
  31. Joseph Gyourko & Todd Sinai, 2003. "The Spatial Distribution of Housing-Related Ordinary Income Tax Benefits," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 31(4), pages 527-575, December.
  32. Edward L. Glaeser, 1998. "Are Cities Dying?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 139-160, Spring.
  33. Enrico Moretti, 2004. "Workers' Education, Spillovers, and Productivity: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 656-690, June.
  34. Marjorie Flavin & Takashi Yamashita, 2002. "Owner-Occupied Housing and the Composition of the Household Portfolio," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 345-362, March.
  35. John M. Quigley, 1998. "Urban Diversity and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 127-138, Spring.
  36. Mayo, Stephen K., 1981. "Theory and estimation in the economics of housing demand," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 95-116, July.
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:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11643. 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: ().

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.