IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

A real options approach to housing investment

Listed author(s):
  • Chris Downing
  • Nancy Wallace
Registered author(s):

    In this paper, we study investments by existing homeowners to improve their homes. The value of a house is modeled as the expected net present value of a perpetual stream of service flows emanating from the attributes of the house. An important innovation in our model is that the set of house attributes evolves over time according to the investment decisions of the homeowner. The homeowner's decisions to invest in house attributes are modeled as real options. Our model of investment embeds a multi-factor term structure model and a general model of the evolution of service flows. We employ numeric simulations to explore the properties of the investment model, and to motivate our empirical test of the model. Using a panel from the American Housing Survey, we test two implications of the real option theory. We test whether investment is more likely when the spread between the return to housing and the cost of capital is wide, and we test whether greater spread volatility depresses investment. The results indicate that homeowner investment behavior is consistent with the theory, even after controlling for business cycle, aging, tenure and for-sale influences.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2000-30.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 2000
    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2000-30
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    20th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20551

    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2000-30. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Franz Osorio)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.