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Home-buyers, Housing and the Macroeconomy

  • Case, Karl E.
  • Quigley, John M.
  • Shiller, Robert J.

We present the results of a new survey of US home-buyers in 2002. The most important finding is that the survey suggests that home-buyers’ expectations are substantially affected by recent experience. Even after a long boom that has taken prices to very high levels, home-buyers typically have expectations that prices will show double-digit annual price growth over the next 10 years, apparently with only a modest level of risk. We conjecture that these characteristics of individuals’ expectations may contribute to the substantial swings that are observed in housing prices. Changes in housing wealth, especially if they are perceived as long-lasting, may have substantial macroeconomic effects through private consumption. In the second part of the paper, we examine the link between increases in housing wealth, financial wealth, and consumer spending. We rely upon a panel of 14 countries observed annually for various periods during the past 25 years and a panel of US states observed quarterly during the 1980s and 1990s. We find a statistically significant and rather large effect of housing wealth upon household consumption.

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Paper provided by Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy in its series Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series with number qt0v59r392.

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Date of creation: 18 Nov 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cdl:bphupl:qt0v59r392
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  1. Ohtake, F. & Horioka, C.Y., 1995. "Saving Motives in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0392, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  2. Skinner, Jonathan, 1989. "Housing wealth and aggregate saving," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 305-324, May.
  3. Yoshikawa, Hiroshi & Ohtaka, Fumio, 1989. "An analysis of female labor supply, housing demand and the saving rate in Japan," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 997-1023, May.
  4. 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 125-37, March.
  5. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1990. "Forecasting Prices and Excess Returns in the Housing Market," NBER Working Papers 3368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Levin, Laurence, 1998. "Are assets fungible?: Testing the behavioral theory of life-cycle savings," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 59-83, July.
  7. William G. Gale & John Sabelhaus, 1999. "Perspectives on the Household Saving Rate," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 30(1), pages 181-224.
  8. Nikola Dvornak & Marion Kohler, 2007. "Housing Wealth, Stock Market Wealth and Consumption: A Panel Analysis for Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(261), pages 117-130, 06.
  9. Barot, Bharat & Yang, Zan, 2002. "House Prices and Housing Investment in Sweden and the United Kingdom: Econometric Analysis for the Period 1970-1998," Working Paper 80, National Institute of Economic Research.
  10. Robert J. Shiller & Karl E. Case, 1988. "The Behavior of Home Buyers in Boom and Post-Boom Markets," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 890, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:95:y:1980:i:3:p:509-35 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Peek, Joe, 1983. "Capital Gains and Personal Saving Behavior," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 15(1), pages 1-23, February.
  13. Englund, P. & Ioannides, Y.M., 1996. "House Price Dynamics: An International Empirical Perspective," Papers 1996-01, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  14. Engelhardt, Gary V., 1996. "House prices and home owner saving behavior," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 313-336, June.
  15. P.T. de La Paz, 2001. "Housing and Consumption in Spain," ERES eres2001_283, European Real Estate Society (ERES).
  16. Goodman, John Jr. & Ittner, John B., 1992. "The accuracy of home owners' estimates of house value," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 339-357, December.
  17. 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.
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