House prices in Italy, 1927-2012
In this paper we evaluate the trend in house prices and residential land prices from 1927 to 2012. In this period real house prices increased more than threefold, while they quintupled in big cities. The increase was much greater than that of the real construction costs, which doubled. More than two-thirds of the increase in house prices that occurred between 1950 and 2012 was attributable to the increase in residential land prices. The increase in the wealth-to-GDP ratio observed in Italy since the middle of the last century was largely due to the rise in real house prices; although increasing house prices can make buying a home more difficult for non-homeowners, our results mitigate the concerns about the distributive tensions that may arise from the growth in the wealth-to-GDP ratio.
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