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Understanding Recent Trends in House Prices and Home Ownership

  • Shiller, Robert J.

    (Yale U)

This paper looks at a broad array of evidence concerning the recent boom in home prices, and considers what this means for future home prices and the economy. It does not appear possible to explain the boom in terms of fundamentals such as rents or construction costs. A psychological theory, that represents the boom as taking place because of a feedback mechanism or social epidemic that encourages a view of housing as an important investment opportunity, fits the evidence better. Three case studies of past booms are considered for comparison: the US housing boom of 1950, the US farmland boom of the 1970s, and the temporary interruption 2004-5 of the UK housing boom. The paper concludes that while it is possible that prices will continue to go up as is commonly expected, there is a high probability of steady and substantial real home price declines extending over years to come.

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File URL: http://economics.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Working-Papers/wp000/ddp0028.pdf
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Paper provided by Yale University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 28.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:yaleco:28
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Web page: http://www.econ.yale.edu/ddp/
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  1. John B. Taylor, 2007. "Housing and monetary policy," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 463-476.
  2. Davis, Morris & Heathcote, Jonathan, 2005. "The Price and Quantity of Residential Land in the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 5333, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Robert J. Shiller, 2003. "From Efficient Markets Theory to Behavioral Finance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 83-104, Winter.
  4. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The Efficiency of the Market for Single-Family Homes," NBER Working Papers 2506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2002. "The Impact of Zoning on Housing Affordability," NBER Working Papers 8835, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. David Genesove & Christopher Mayer, 2001. "Loss Aversion and Seller Behavior: Evidence from the Housing Market," NBER Working Papers 8143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Joseph Gyourko & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2013. "Superstar Cities," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 167-99, November.
  8. Glaser, Markus & Nöth, Markus & Weber, Martin, 2003. "Behavioral Finance," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 03-14, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
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