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Efficiency in housing markets: do home buyers know how to discount?

  • Erik Hjalmarsson
  • Randi Hjalmarsson

We test for efficiency in the market for Swedish co-ops by examining the negative relationship between the sales price and the present value of future rents. If the co-op housing market is efficient, the present value of co-op rental payments due to underlying debt obligations of the cooperative should be fully reflected in the sales price. However, we find that, on average, a one hundred kronor increase in the present value of future rents only leads to a 45 to 65 kronor reduction in the sales price; co-ops with higher rents are thus relatively overpriced compared to those with lower rents. Our analysis indicates that pricing tends to be more efficient in areas with higher educated and wealthier buyers. By relying on cross-sectional relationships in the data, our results are less sensitive to transaction costs and other frictions than time-series tests of housing market efficiency.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 879.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:879
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  1. J.M. Quigley, 1999. "The Valuation of Real Capital:A Random Walk down Kungsgatan," ERES eres1999_109, European Real Estate Society (ERES).
  2. Guntermann, Karl L & Norrbin, Stefan C, 1991. "Empirical Tests of Real Estate Market Efficiency," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 297-313, September.
  3. Turner, Bengt, 1997. "Housing Cooperatives in Sweden: The Effects of Financial Deregulation," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 193-217, October.
  4. Hill, R. Carter & Sirmans, C. F. & Knight, John R., 1999. "A random walk down main street?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 89-103, January.
  5. 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.
  6. John Y. Campbell, 2006. "Household Finance," NBER Working Papers 12149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The Behavior of Home Buyers in Boom and Post-Boom Markets," NBER Working Papers 2748, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Min Hwang & John M. Quigley, 2004. "Selectivity, Quality Adjustment and Mean Reversion in the Measurement of House Values," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 28(2_3), pages 161-178, 03.
  9. Linneman, Peter, 1986. "An empirical test of the efficiency of the housing market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 140-154, September.
  10. Case, Bradford & Quigley, John M, 1991. "The Dynamics of Real Estate Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 50-58, February.
  11. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1990. "Forecasting Prices and Excess Returns in the Housing Market," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 18(3), pages 253-273.
  12. Hwang, Min & Quigley, John M., 2007. "Price Discovery in Time and Space: The Course of Condominium Prices in Singapore," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt1wn5v55d, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  13. Stuart S. Rosenthal, 1999. "Residential Buildings And The Cost Of Construction: New Evidence On The Efficiency Of The Housing Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 288-302, May.
  14. Meese Richard & Wallace Nancy, 1994. "Testing the Present Value Relation for Housing Prices: Should I Leave My House in San Francisco?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 245-266, May.
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