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Risk and return within the single-family housing market


  • Theodore M. Crone
  • Richard Voith


The trade-off between risk and return in equity markets is well established. This paper examines the existence of the same trade-off in the single-family housing market. That market is dominated by homeowners, who constitute about two-thirds of U.S. households. For them the choice about how much housing and what house to buy is a joint consumption/investment decision. Furthermore, owner-occupied housing is by nature a lumpy investment whose risk cannot be completely diversified. Does this consumption/investment link negate the risk/return trade-off within the single-family housing market? Theory suggests the link still holds. This paper supplies empirical evidence in support of that theoretical result.

Suggested Citation

  • Theodore M. Crone & Richard Voith, 1998. "Risk and return within the single-family housing market," Working Papers 98-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:98-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The behavior of home buyers in boom and post-boom markets," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Nov, pages 29-46.
    2. Roger G. Ibbotson & Laurence B. Siegel, 1984. "Real Estate Returns: A Comparison with Other Investments," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 12(3), pages 219-242.
    3. Case, Karl E & Shiller, Robert J, 1989. "The Efficiency of the Market for Single-Family Homes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 125-137, March.
    4. Archer*, Wayne R. & Gatzlaff+, Dean H. & Ling*, David C., 1996. "Measuring the Importance of Location in House Price Appreciation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 334-353, November.
    5. Goetzmann, William Nelson, 1993. "The Single Family Home in the Investment Portfolio," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 201-222, May.
    6. Brueckner, Jan K, 1997. "Consumption and Investment Motives and the Portfolio Choices of Homeowners," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 159-180, October.
    7. Berkovec, James, 1989. "A General Equilibrium Model of Housing Consumption and Investment," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 157-172, September.
    8. Crone, Theodore M. & Voith, Richard P., 1992. "Estimating house price appreciation: A comparison of methods," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 324-338, December.
    9. Gat, Daniel, 1994. "Risk and Return in Residential Spatial Markets: An Empiric and Theoretic Model," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 51-67, July.
    10. Richard Meyer & Kenneth Wieand, 1996. "Risk and Return to Housing, Tenure Choice and the Value of Housing in an Asset Pricing Context," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 24(1), pages 113-131.
    11. William N. Goetzmann & Roger G. Ibbotson, 1990. "The Performance Of Real Estate As An Asset Class," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 3(1), pages 65-76.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tracey West & Andrew C. Worthington, 2003. "Macroeconomic risk factors in Australian commercial real estate, listed property trust and property sector stock returns: A comparative analysis using GARCH-M," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 160, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    2. William Goetzmann & Matthew Spiegel, 2000. "The Policy Implications of Portfolio Choice in Underserved Mortgage Markets," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm161, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Mar 2001.

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