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What Have They Been Thinking? Home Buyer Behavior in Hot and Cold Markets -- A 2014 Update

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Abstract

Questionnaire surveys undertaken in 1988 and annually from 2003 through 2014 of recent homebuyers in each of four U.S. metropolitan areas shed light on their expectations and reasons for buying during the recent housing boom and subsequent collapse. They also provide insight into the reasons for the housing crisis that initiated the current financial malaise. We find that homebuyers were generally well informed, and that their short-run expectations if anything underreacted to the year-to-year change in actual home prices. More of the root causes of the housing bubble can be seen in their long-term (10-year) home price expectations, which reached abnormally high levels relative to mortgage rates at the peak of the boom and have declined sharply since. The downward turning point, around 2005, of the long boom that preceded the crisis was associated with changing public understanding of speculative bubbles.

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  • Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller & Anne K. Thompson, 2012. "What Have They Been Thinking? Home Buyer Behavior in Hot and Cold Markets -- A 2014 Update," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1876R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Mar 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1876r
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    1. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Christian Julliard, 2008. "Money Illusion and Housing Frenzies," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 135-180, January.
    2. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2011. "Anatomy of the Beginning of the Housing Boom: U.S. Neighborhoods and Metropolitan Areas, 1993-2009," NBER Working Papers 17374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Yuliya Demyanyk & Otto Van Hemert, 2011. "Understanding the Subprime Mortgage Crisis," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(6), pages 1848-1880.
    4. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1982. "Regret Theory: An Alternative Theory of Rational Choice under Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 805-824, December.
    5. Gorton, Gary B., 2010. "Slapped by the Invisible Hand: The Panic of 2007," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199734153.
    6. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2009. "The Consequences of Mortgage Credit Expansion: Evidence from the U.S. Mortgage Default Crisis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1449-1496.
    7. Mathis, Jérôme & McAndrews, James & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2009. "Rating the raters: Are reputation concerns powerful enough to discipline rating agencies?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 657-674, July.
    8. 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.
    9. Brueckner, Jan K., 1981. "A dynamic model of housing production," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 1-14, July.
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    JEL classification:

    • R30 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - General

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