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Rental Adjustment and Housing Prices: Evidence from Hong Kong's Residential Property Market

Author

Listed:
  • Honglin Wang

    (Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)

  • Chu Zhang

    (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)

  • Weihang Dai

    (The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)

Abstract

This paper investigates the interaction between housing prices and housing rentals. Standard economic models treat housing prices as the present discounted value of future rentals with the latter treated as exogenous. Casual observation, however, suggests that changes in rental prices often follow housing price changes. Economic theory also supports the view that rental prices may not be exogenous. Extending the user-cost model of house price determination, we propose that expected returns on alternative investments contribute positively to the rental adjustment process. We estimate an empirical model for Hong Kong house prices and show that a 1% change in the gap between rental yields and equilibrium whole economy capital returns, the return gap, implies a 0.30% change in real rents. One policy implication is that price changes in the housing market can impact the rental adjustment process by changing the return gap. Consequently, variation in the price-to-rent ratio, which is often used to measure the divergence of housing prices from their equilibrium level can underestimate the size of any housing market 'bubble'.

Suggested Citation

  • Honglin Wang & Chu Zhang & Weihang Dai, 2013. "Rental Adjustment and Housing Prices: Evidence from Hong Kong's Residential Property Market," Working Papers 012013, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:012013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals and Misperceptions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 67-92, Fall.
    2. Patric H. Hendershott & Bryan D. MacGregor & Raymond Y.C. Tse, 2002. "Estimation of the Rental Adjustment Process," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 30(2), pages 165-183.
    3. James M. Poterba, 1984. "Tax Subsidies to Owner-Occupied Housing: An Asset-Market Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(4), pages 729-752.
    4. Charles Ka Yui Leung & Nan-Kuang Chen, 2006. "Intrinsic Cycles of Land Price: A Simple Model," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, pages 293-320.
    5. William C. Wheaton & Raymond G. Torto, 1988. "Vacancy Rates and the Future of Office Rents," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 16(4), pages 430-436.
    6. Thesia I. Garner & Randal Verbrugge, 2007. "Puzzling Divergence of U.S. Rents and User Costs, 1980-2004: Summary and Extensions," Working Papers 409, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    7. Arthur A. Eubank & C. R. Sirmans, 1979. "The Price Adjustment Mechanism for Rental Housing in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(1), pages 163-168.
    8. Raymond Y. C. Tse & Bryan D. MacGregor, 1999. "Housing Vacancy and Rental Adjustment: Evidence from Hong Kong," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 36(10), pages 1769-1782, September.
    9. Wheaton, William C, 1990. "Vacancy, Search, and Prices in a Housing Market Matching Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1270-1292, December.
    10. CharlesKaYui Leung & Nan-Kuang Chen, 2010. "Stock Price Volatility, Negative Autocorrelation And The Consumption-Wealth Ratio: The Case Of Constant Fundamentals," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 224-245, May.
    11. Rosen, Kenneth T & Smith, Lawrence B, 1983. "The Price-Adjustment Process for Rental Housing and the Natural Vacancy Rate," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 779-786, September.
    12. Leung, Tin Cheuk & Tsang, Kwok Ping, 2013. "Anchoring and loss aversion in the housing market: Implications on price dynamics," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 42-54.
    13. Hendershott, Patric H., 1996. "Rental Adjustment and Valuation in Overbuilt Markets: Evidence from the Sydney Office Market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 51-67, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kennedy, Gerard & Sheenan, Lisa & Woods, Maria, 2016. "Modelling Irish Rents: Recent Developments in Historical Context," Economic Letters 14/EL/16, Central Bank of Ireland.
    2. Honglin Wang & Fan Yu & Yinggang Zhou, 2013. "Rental Rates under Housing Price Uncertainty: A Real Options Approach," Working Papers 242013, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rental Adjustment; Residential Property Market; Price-To-Rent Ratio;

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