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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. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko & Raven Saks, 2005. "Why Have Housing Prices Gone Up?," NBER Working Papers 11129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Morris A. Davis, 2010. "housing and the business cycle," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
  3. King, Robert G. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1993. "Low frequency filtering and real business cycles," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 207-231.
  4. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 2003. "Is There a Bubble in the Housing Market?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(2), pages 299-362.
  5. Gyourko, Joseph & Saiz, Albert, 2004. "Reinvestment in the housing stock: the role of construction costs and the supply side," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 238-256, March.
  6. Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Pierre-Olivier Weill, 2006. "Why Has House Price Dispersion Gone Up?," NBER Working Papers 12538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jonathan Heathcote, 2003. "Housing and the Business Cycle," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-21, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  8. Monika Piazzesi & Martin Schneider & Selale Tuzel, 2004. "Housing, Consumption and Asset Pricing," 2004 Meeting Papers 357c, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Thorsnes, Paul, 1997. "Consistent Estimates of the Elasticity of Substitution between Land and Non-Land Inputs in the Production of Housing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 98-108, July.
  10. Stephen Malpezzi, 1998. "A Simple Error Correction Model of House Prices," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 98-11, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
  11. Quigley, John M. & Raphael, Steven, 2006. "Regulation and the High Cost of Housing in California," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt3hh7s35m, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  12. Fisher, Jonas D. M., 1997. "Relative prices, complementarities and comovement among components of aggregate expenditures," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 449-474, August.
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