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Do house prices reflect fundamentals? Aggregate and panel data evidence

  • Mikhed, Vyacheslav
  • Zemcík, Petr

We investigate whether recently high and consequently rapidly decreasing U.S. house prices have been justified by fundamental factors such as personal income, population, house rent, stock market wealth, building costs, and mortgage rate. We first conduct the standard unit root and cointegration tests with aggregate data. Nationwide analysis potentially suffers from problems of the low power of stationarity tests and the ignorance of dependence among regional house markets. Therefore, we also employ panel data stationarity tests which are robust to cross-sectional dependence. Contrary to previous panel studies of the U.S. housing market, we consider several, not just one, fundamental factors. Our results confirm that panel data unit root tests have greater power as compared with univariate tests. However, the overall conclusions are the same for both methodologies. The house price does not align with the fundamentals in sub-samples prior to 1996 and from 1997 to 2006. It appears that the real estate prices take long swings from their fundamental value and it can take decades before they revert to it. The most recent correction (a collapsed bubble) occurred around 2006.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Housing Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 140-149

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhouse:v:18:y:2009:i:2:p:140-149
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622881

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  1. 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.
  2. Peter Pedroni, 1999. "Critical Values for Cointegration Tests in Heterogeneous Panels with Multiple Regressors," Department of Economics Working Papers 2000-02, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  3. Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals and Misperceptions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 67-92, Fall.
  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. Vyacheslav Mikhed & Petr Zemcik, 2007. "Testing for Bubbles in Housing Markets: A Panel Data Approach," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp338, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  6. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
  7. Pedroni, Peter, 2004. "Panel Cointegration: Asymptotic And Finite Sample Properties Of Pooled Time Series Tests With An Application To The Ppp Hypothesis," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(03), pages 597-625, June.
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  9. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1990. "Symposium on Bubbles," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 13-18, Spring.
  10. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 2003. "Is There a Bubble in the Housing Market?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(2), pages 299-362.
  11. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119, March.
  12. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2007. "A simple panel unit root test in the presence of cross-section dependence," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2), pages 265-312.
  13. Zemcik, Petr & Mikhed, Vyacheslav, 2007. "Testing for Bubbles in Housing Markets: A Panel Data Approach," ERES eres2007_128, European Real Estate Society (ERES).
  14. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  15. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. " A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-52, Special I.
  16. Timmermann, Allan, 1995. "Cointegration Tests of Present Value Models with a Time-Varying Discount Factor," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(1), pages 17-31, Jan.-Marc.
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