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The price of residential land in large U.S. cities

  • Morris A. Davis
  • Michael G. Palumbo

Combining data from several sources, we build a database of home values, the cost of housing structures, and residential land values for 46 large U.S. metropolitan areas from 1984 to 2004. Our analysis of these new data reveal that since the mid-1980s residential land values have appreciated over a much wider range of cities than is commonly believed. And, since 1998, almost all large U.S. cities have seen significant increases in real residential land prices. Averaging across the cities in our sample, by year-end 2004, the value of residential land accounted for about 50 percent of the total market value of housing, up from 32 percent in 1984. An implication of our results is that the future course of home prices--their average rate of appreciation and their volatility--is likely to be determined even more by the course of land prices than used to be the case.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2006-25.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2006-25
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  1. Davis, Morris & Heathcote, Jonathan, 2001. "Housing and the Business Cycle," Working Papers 01-09, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  2. King, R.G. & Rebelo, S.T., 1989. "Low Frequency Filtering And Real Business Cycles," RCER Working Papers 205, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. John M. Quigley & Steven Raphael, 2005. "Regulation and the High Cost of Housing in California," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 323-328, May.
  4. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko & Raven E. Saks, 2005. "Why Have Housing Prices Gone Up?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 329-333, May.
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