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Efficiency In Housing Markets: Do Home Buyers Know How To Discount?


  • Hjalmarsson, Erik

    () (Division of International Finance, Federal Reserve Board)

  • Hjalmarsson, Randi

    () (University of Maryland, School of Public Policy)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hjalmarsson, Erik & Hjalmarsson, Randi, 2006. "Efficiency In Housing Markets: Do Home Buyers Know How To Discount?," Working Papers in Economics 232, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0232

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. John Y. Campbell, 2006. "Household Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(4), pages 1553-1604, August.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Englund, Peter & Gordon, Tracy M. & Quigley, John M., 1999. "The Valuation of Real Capital: A Random Walk down Kungsgatan," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 205-216, September.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Hwang, Min & Quigley, John M., 2002. "Price Discovery in Time and Space: The Course of Condominium Prices in Singapore," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt260185hr, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    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. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. repec:arz:wpaper:eres1999-109 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. 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, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Khalid Sekkat & Ariane Szafarz, 2011. "Valuing Homeownership," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 43(4), pages 491-504, November.
    2. Karl Robertsen & Theis Theisen, 2011. "The Impact of Financial Arrangements and Institutional Form on Housing Prices," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 371-392, April.

    More about this item


    Housing markets; Market efficiency; Cooperative housing;

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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