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Regional Divergence and House Prices

Author

Listed:
  • Howard, Greg

    (U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

  • Liebersohn, Jack

    (Ohio State U)

Abstract

This paper develops a model of the U.S. housing market that explains much of the time series of rents and house prices since World War II. House prices depend on expec- tations of future rents. We show that rents are tied to regional income inequality, and therefore, house prices are determined by how much faster incomes are growing in richer regions. This theory also matches many cross-sectional facts, including regional varia- tion in rents and prices, differing house price sensitivities to national trends, patterns of inter-state migration, and surveys of income expectations. An industry shift-share instrument provides causal evidence for our channel. The model implies that while interest rates have an ambiguous effect on house price levels, low rates increase house price volatility.

Suggested Citation

  • Howard, Greg & Liebersohn, Jack, 2020. "Regional Divergence and House Prices," Working Paper Series 2020-04, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:ohidic:2020-04
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    2. Dooruj Rambaccussing, 2021. "The price–rent ratio inequality in Scottish Cities: fluctuations in discount rates and expected rent growth," SN Business & Economics, Springer, vol. 1(9), pages 1-15, September.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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