A Model of Cross-Country House Prices (228.91 KB PDF)
The widespread nature of the recent international house price boom suggests that the underlying forces behind this sustained price increase may be common across countries. Many OECD countries have, over the past decade, witnessed sustained increases in living standards while housing affordability has further improved in recent years with the low interest rate environment experienced by many of these countries. In this paper we propose a theoretical model of house price determination that is driven by changes in income and interest rates. In particular, the current level of income and interest rates determine how much an individual can borrow from financial institutions to purchase housing and ultimately this is a key driver of house prices. The model is applied to a panel of 16 OECD countries from 1980 to 2005 using both single country-by-country and panel econometric approaches. Our results support the existence of a long-run relationship between actual house prices and the amount individuals can borrow and we find plausible and statistically significant adjustment, across countries, to this long run equilibrium.
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