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Empirical application of the housing-market no-arbitrage condition: problems, solutions and a Finnish case study

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  • Elias Oikarinen

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Turku School of Economics)

Abstract

The often used housing price-to-income and housing price-to-rent ratios are problematic in housing market analysis and may result in misleading conclusions. Instead, the no-arbitrage condition of housing market is a theoretically sound basis to evaluate if housing prices are misaligned. Unfortunately, empirical applica-tion of the no-arbitrage condition has notable complications. This article reviews these complications and suggests some solutions to them. The use of implied expected appreciation derived from the no-arbitrage condition is recommended. It is also claimed that the real appreciation is better to use than the nominal one in the no-arbitrage computations. Furthermore, the paper shows that the maintenance costs as a fraction of housing price vary substantially in time and location, which may significantly affect the equilibrium housing price level relative to rental prices. An empirical application of the no-arbitrage relation using data from ten Finnish cities shows that housing price level in 2007 was not based on high expected appreciation. This lowers the fears for a price bubble.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Aboa Centre for Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 39.

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Length: 30
Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tkk:dpaper:dp39

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Keywords: Housing; no-arbitrage condition; overpricing; user cost;

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  1. Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing high house prices: bubbles, fundamentals, and misperceptions," Staff Reports 218, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  2. Englund, P. & Hendershott, P.H. & Turner, B., 1995. "The Tax Reform and the Housing Market," Papers 20, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
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  6. Glaeser, Edward L. & Gyourko, Joseph, 2008. "Arbitrage in Housing Markets," Working Paper Series rwp08-017, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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  8. 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.
  9. Nathalie Girouard & Mike Kennedy & Paul van den Noord & Christophe André, 2006. "Recent House Price Developments: The Role of Fundamentals," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 475, OECD Publishing.
  10. Todd Sinai & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2005. "Owner-Occupied Housing as a Hedge Against Rent Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 763-789, May.
  11. John M. Quigley & Steven Raphael, 2004. "Is Housing Unaffordable? Why Isn't It More Affordable?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 191-214, Winter.
  12. Andrea Finicelli, 2007. "House price developments and fundamentals in the United States," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 7, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  13. 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.
  14. DiPasquale Denise & Wheaton William C., 1994. "Housing Market Dynamics and the Future of Housing Prices," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 1-27, January.
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