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Why have house prices risen so much more than rents in superstar cities?

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  • Christian A. L. Hilber
  • Andreas Mense

Abstract

In most countries - particularly in supply constrained superstar cities - house prices have risen much more strongly than rents over the last two decades. We provide an explanation that does not rely on falling interest rates, changing credit conditions, unrealistic expectations, rising inequality, or global investor demand. Our model distinguishes between short- and long-run supply constraints and assumes housing demand shocks exhibit serial correlation. Employing panel data for England, our instrumental variable-fixed effect estimates suggest that in Greater London labor demand shocks in conjunction with supply constraints explain two-thirds of the 153% increase in the price-to-rent ratio between 1997 and 2018.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian A. L. Hilber & Andreas Mense, 2021. "Why have house prices risen so much more than rents in superstar cities?," CEP Discussion Papers dp1743, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1743
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    house prices; housing rents; price-to-rent ratio; price and rent dynamics; housing supply; land use regulation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • 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
    • R52 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Land Use and Other Regulations

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