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Bubble, Bubble, Where's the Housing Bubble?

Author

Listed:
  • Margaret Hwang Smith

    (Pomona College)

  • Gary Smith

    (Pomona College)

Abstract

Discussions of whether a housing bubble exists generally rely on indirect barometers such as rapidly increasing prices, unrealistic expectations of future price increases, and rising ratios of housing price indexes to indexes of household income. Such measures cannot, however, answer the key question of whether housing prices are justified by the value of the services that a home provides. We show how to estimate the fundamental value of a home from rent data. We then apply this procedure in ten metropolitan areas, using a unique set of rent and sale price data for matched single-family homes. We do not find evidence of a bubble in most of these cities: under a variety of plausible assumptions, buying a home in these cities today still appears to be an attractive long-term investment.

Suggested Citation

  • Margaret Hwang Smith & Gary Smith, 2006. "Bubble, Bubble, Where's the Housing Bubble?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 37(1), pages 1-68.
  • Handle: RePEc:bin:bpeajo:v:37:y:2006:i:2006-1:p:1-68
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Meese Richard & Wallace Nancy, 1994. "Testing the Present Value Relation for Housing Prices: Should I Leave My House in San Francisco?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 245-266, May.
    2. Goodman, Allen C., 1988. "An econometric model of housing price, permanent income, tenure choice, and housing demand," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 327-353, May.
    3. Jonathan McCarthy & Richard Peach, 2004. "Are home prices the next "bubble"?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Dec, pages 1-17.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Edward E. Leamer, 2007. "Housing is the business cycle," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 149-233.
    2. Duca, John V. & Muellbauer, John & Murphy, Anthony, 2010. "Housing markets and the financial crisis of 2007-2009: Lessons for the future," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 203-217, December.
    3. Zhou, Wei-Xing & Sornette, Didier, 2008. "Analysis of the real estate market in Las Vegas: Bubble, seasonal patterns, and prediction of the CSW indices," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 387(1), pages 243-260.
    4. Madsen, Jakob B., 2009. "Taxes and the fundamental value of houses," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 365-376, May.
    5. Hill, Robert J. & Syed, Iqbal A., 2016. "Hedonic price–rent ratios, user cost, and departures from equilibrium in the housing market," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 60-72.
    6. MeiChi Huang, 2013. "The Role of People’s Expectation in the Recent US Housing Boom and Bust," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 452-479, April.
    7. Ing-Haw Cheng & Sahil Raina & Wei Xiong, 2014. "Wall Street and the Housing Bubble," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(9), pages 2797-2829, September.
    8. Shen, Chung-Hua & Lin, Kun-Li & Guo, Na, 2016. "Hawk or dove: Switching regression model for the monetary policy reaction function in China," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 94-111.
    9. Tabner, Isaac T., 2016. "Buying versus renting – Determinants of the net present value of home ownership for individual households," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 233-246.
    10. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2006. "Housing Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 12787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Konstantin A. Kholodilin & Claus Michelsen & Dirk Ulbricht, 2014. "Speculative Price Bubbles in Urban Housing Markets in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1417, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    12. Baltagi, Badi H. & Li, Jing, 2015. "Cointegration of matched home purchases and rental price indexes — Evidence from Singapore," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 80-88.
    13. Cabray L. Haines & Richard J. Rosen, 2007. "Bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 16-35.
    14. repec:eee:regeco:v:68:y:2018:i:c:p:204-225 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Zhang, Chuanchuan & Jia, Shen & Yang, Rudai, 2016. "Housing affordability and housing vacancy in China: The role of income inequality," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 4-14.
    16. Brzezicka Justyna & Wisniewski Radosław, 2014. "Price Bubble In The Real Estate Market - Behavioral Aspects," Real Estate Management and Valuation, De Gruyter Open, vol. 22(1), pages 1-14, March.
    17. Nai Jia Lee & Tracey N. Seslen & William C. Wheaton, 2015. "Do House Price Levels Anticipate Subsequent Price Changes within Metropolitan Areas?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 43(3), pages 782-806, September.
    18. Itamar Caspi, 2016. "Testing for a housing bubble at the national and regional level: the case of Israel," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 483-516, September.
    19. Pascal Towbin & Sebastian Weber, 2015. "Price Expectations and the U.S. Housing Boom," IMF Working Papers 15/182, International Monetary Fund.
    20. Olesya Baker & Phil Doctor & Eric French, 2007. "Asset rundown after retirement: the importance of rate of return shocks," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 48-65.
    21. Yongqiang Chu, 2014. "Credit constraints, inelastic supply, and the housing boom," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(1), pages 52-69, January.
    22. Konstantin Kholodilin, 2015. "Speculative Bubbles in Urban Housing Markets in Germany," ERSA conference papers ersa15p67, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    housing bubble; macroeconomics; bubble; house;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • E39 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Other
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

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