The Puzzling Divergence of Rents and User Costs, 1980-2004
This paper demonstrates that, in the context of U.S. housing data, rents and ex ante user costs diverge markedly—in both growth rates and levels—for extended periods of time, a seeming failure of arbitrage and a puzzle from the perspective of standard capital theory. The tremendous volatility of even appropriately-smoothed ex ante annual user cost measures implies that such measures are unsuitable for inclusion in official price statistics. The divergence holds not only at the aggregate level, but at the metropolitan-market level as well, and is robust across different house price and rent measures. But transactions costs matter: the large persistent divergences did not imply the presence of unexploited profit opportunities. In particular, even though detached housing is readily moved between owner and renter markets, and the detached-unit rental market is surprisingly thick, transactions costs would have prevented risk-neutral investors from earning expected profits by buying a property to rent out for a year, and would have prevented risk-neutral homeowners from earning expected profits by selling their homes and becoming renters for a year. Finally, computing implied appreciation as a residual yields a house price forecast with huge errors; but either longer-horizon or no-real-capital-gains forecasts— which turn out to have similar forecast errors—imply a far less divergent user cost measure which might ultimately be useful for official price statistics. Some conjectures are offered.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2009|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 2 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E. Room 2860, Washington, D. C. 20212|
Phone: (202) 606-5900
Fax: (202) 606-7890
Web page: https://www.bls.gov
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Michelle H. Dreiman & Anthony Pennington-Cross, 2004.
"Alternative Methods of Increasing the Precision of Weighted Repeat Sales House Prices Indices,"
The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics,
Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 299-317, 05.
- Anthony Pennington-Cross & Michelle H. Dreiman, 2002. "Alternative Methods of Increasing the Precision of Weighted Repeat Sales House Prices Indices," Staff Working Papers 02-02, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
- Donald R. Haurin & Patric H. Hendershott & Dongwook Kim, 1991. "Local House Price Indexes: 1982-1991," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 19(3), pages 451-472.
- Donald Haurin & Patric Hendershott & Dongwook Kim, 1991. "Local House Price Indexes: 1982-1991," NBER Working Papers 3933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Crone, Theodore M. & Nakamura, Leonard I. & Voith, Richard, 1998. "Measuring housing services inflation," Working Papers 98-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, revised 01 Jan 1999.
- Theodore M. Crone & Leonard I. Nakamura & Richard Voith, 1999. "Measuring housing services inflation," Working Papers 99-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Case, Bradford & Pollakowski, Henry O & Wachter, Susan M, 1997. "Frequency of Transaction and House Price Modeling," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1-2), pages 173-187, Jan.-Marc.
- John S. Greenlees, 1982. "An Empirical Evaluation of the CPI Home Purchase Index, 1973-1978," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 10(1), pages 1-24.
- Karl E Case & John M Quigley & Robert J Shiller, 2003. "Home-buyers, Housing and the Macroeconomy," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Anthony Richards & Tim Robinson (ed.), Asset Prices and Monetary Policy Reserve Bank of Australia.
- Case, Karl E. & Quigley, John M. & Shiller, Robert J., 2003. "Home-buyers, Housing and the Macroeconomy," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt0v59r392, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
- Davis, Morris A. & Heathcote, Jonathan, 2007. "The price and quantity of residential land in the United States," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2595-2620, November.
- Jonathan Heathcote & Morris Davis, 2004. "The Price and Quantity of Residential Land in the United States," 2004 Meeting Papers 32, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Morris A. Davis & Jonathan Heathcote, 2004. "The price and quantity of residential land in the United States," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-37, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Davis, Morris & Heathcote, Jonathan, 2005. "The Price and Quantity of Residential Land in the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 5333, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Theodore M. Crone & Leonard I. Nakamura & Richard Voith, 2010. "Rents Have Been Rising, Not Falling, in the Postwar Period," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(3), pages 628-642, August.
- Bridget Cronin & Leonard I. Nakamura & Richard Voith, 2008. "Rents have been rising, not falling, in the postwar period," Working Papers 08-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Case, Karl E & Shiller, Robert J, 1989. "The Efficiency of the Market for Single-Family Homes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 125-137, March.
- Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The Efficiency of the Market for Single-Family Homes," NBER Working Papers 2506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gatzlaff, Dean H & Haurin, Donald R, 1997. "Sample Selection Bias and Repeat-Sales Index Estimates," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1-2), pages 33-50, Jan.-Marc.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "The Benefits of the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 17, pages 37-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2002. "The Benefits of the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction," NBER Working Papers 9284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bls:wpaper:ec080080. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gregory Kurtzon)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.