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Do house prices reflect fundamentals? Aggregate and panel data evidence

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  • Mikhed, Vyacheslav
  • Zemcík, Petr

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Mikhed, Vyacheslav & Zemcík, Petr, 2009. "Do house prices reflect fundamentals? Aggregate and panel data evidence," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 140-149, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhouse:v:18:y:2009:i:2:p:140-149
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    1. 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.
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    5. 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.
    6. Petr Zemcik & Vyacheslav Mikhed, 2007. "Testing for Bubbles in Housing Markets: A Panel Data Approach," ERES eres2007_128, European Real Estate Society (ERES).
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    17. repec:arz:wpaper:eres2007-128 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Keywords

    C33 G12 R21 R31 Panel data House prices Cointegration Fundamentals Bubble;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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