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Do House Prices Reflect Fundamentals? Aggregate and Panel Data Evidence

  • Vyacheslav Mikhed
  • Petr Zemcik

We investigate whether recently high U.S. house prices are justified by fundamental factors. The standard unit root and cointegration tests with aggregate data indicate that house rent is the only fundamental which has the same order of integration as the price, but these two variables are not cointegrated. Nationwide analysis potentially suffers from problems of the low power of stationarity tests applied to relatively short series and the ignorance of dependence among regional house markets. Therefore, we conduct panel data stationarity tests which are robust to cross-sectional dependence and have greater power than univariate tests. While this time it is inflation and income that have the same order of integration as house price, they are not cointegrated with it, even if combined with the aggregate stock index. It appears that the real estate prices take long swings from their fundamental value and it can take decades before they revert to it.

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Paper provided by The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague in its series CERGE-EI Working Papers with number wp337.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp337
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  1. Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals and Misperceptions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 67-92, Fall.
  2. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1990. "Symposium on Bubbles," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 13-18, Spring.
  3. Pedroni, Peter, 1999. " Critical Values for Cointegration Tests in Heterogeneous Panels with Multiple Regressors," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 653-70, Special I.
  4. Timmermann, Allan, 1995. "Cointegration Tests of Present Value Models with a Time-Varying Discount Factor," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(1), pages 17-31, Jan.-Marc.
  5. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
  6. Jonathan McCarthy & Richard W. Peach, 2004. "Are home prices the next "bubble"?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Dec, pages 1-17.
  7. Pesaran, M.H., 2003. "A Simple Panel Unit Root Test in the Presence of Cross Section Dependence," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0346, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  8. Zemcik, Petr & Mikhed, Vyacheslav, 2007. "Testing for Bubbles in Housing Markets: A Panel Data Approach," ERES eres2007_128, European Real Estate Society (ERES).
  9. James M. Poterba, 1983. "Tax Subsidies to Owner-occupied Housing: An Asset Market Approach," Working papers 339, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119, March.
  11. Joshua Gallin, 2006. "The Long-Run Relationship between House Prices and Income: Evidence from Local Housing Markets," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 34(3), pages 417-438, 09.
  12. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 2003. "Is There a Bubble in the Housing Market?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(2), pages 299-362.
  13. Vyacheslav Mikhed & Petr Zemcik, 2007. "Testing for Bubbles in Housing Markets: A Panel Data Approach," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp338, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  14. Peter Pedroni, 2004. "Panel Cointegration: Asymptotic and Finite Sample Properties of Pooled Time Series Tests with an Application to the PPP Hypothesis," Department of Economics Working Papers 2004-15, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  15. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  16. 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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