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Is there long-run convergence of regional house prices in the UK?


  • Mark J. Holmes

    () (University of Waikato)

  • Arthur Grimes

    () (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)


This paper investigates the long-run convergence of regional house prices in the UK. Using a variety of econometric methods, existing studies have failed to reach a consensus on whether or not regional house prices are cointegrated and exhibit long-run constancy relative to each other. We propose the application of a new test that combines principal components analysis with unit root testing to throw new light on the regional convergence debate. Using mix-adjusted quarterly house price data for 1973-2005, we find that existing unit root and cointegration methodologies indicate the presence of multiple stochastic trends with, at best, very weak evidence of long-run convergence. However, testing for the stationarity of the largest principal component based on regional house price differentials suggests that all UK regional house prices are driven by a single common stochastic trend and can be regarded as exhibiting strong convergence in the long-run. Further analysis suggests there is a high degree of persistence in regional house price differentials.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark J. Holmes & Arthur Grimes, 2005. "Is there long-run convergence of regional house prices in the UK?," Working Papers 05_11, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtu:wpaper:05_11

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Montagnoli, Alberto & Nagayasu, Jun, 2015. "UK house price convergence clubs and spillovers," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 50-58.
    2. Holly, Sean & Hashem Pesaran, M. & Yamagata, Takashi, 2011. "The spatial and temporal diffusion of house prices in the UK," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 2-23, January.
    3. Holmes, Mark J. & Otero, Jesús & Panagiotidis, Theodore, 2011. "Investigating regional house price convergence in the United States: Evidence from a pair-wise approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 2369-2376.
    4. Chen, Pei-Fen & Chien, Mei-Se & Lee, Chien-Chiang, 2011. "Dynamic modeling of regional house price diffusion in Taiwan," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 315-332.
    5. Lyócsa, Štefan & Výrost, Tomáš & Baumöhl, Eduard, 2011. "Unit-root and stationarity testing with empirical application on industrial production of CEE-4 countries," MPRA Paper 29648, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Carlos P. Barros & Luis A. Gil-Alana, 2013. "The Housing Markets in Spain and Portugal: Evidence of Persistence," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 3, pages 19-32, November.
    7. S Holly & M Hashem Pesaran & T Yamagata, "undated". "Spatial and Temporal Diffusion of House Prices in the UK," Discussion Papers 09/32, Department of Economics, University of York.
    8. William Miles, 2015. "Regional House Price Segmentation and Convergence in the US: A New Approach," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 113-128, January.
    9. Aye, G.C. & Goswami, S. & Gupta, R., 2013. "Metropolitan House Prices In Regions of India: Do They Converge?," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 13(1), pages 135-144.
    10. Arthur Grimes & Mark Holmes, 2010. "New Zealand Housing Markets: Just a Bit-Player in the A-League?," Working Papers 10_07, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    11. Rangan Gupta & Christophe André & Luis Gil-Alana, 2015. "Comovement in Euro area housing prices: A fractional cointegration approach," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 52(16), pages 3123-3143, December.
    12. Goodness C. Aye & Samrat Goswami & Rangan Gupta, 2012. "Metropolitan House Prices In India: Do They Converge?," Working Papers 201220, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    13. Giorgio Canarella & Stephen M. Miller & Stephen K. Pollard, 2010. "Unit Roots and Structural Change: An Application to US House-Price Indices," Working papers 2010-04, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2010.
    14. Nicholas Apergis & Beatrice D. Simo-Kengne & Rangan Gupta, 2015. "Convergence In Provincial-Level South African House Prices: Evidence From The Club Convergence And Clustering Procedure," Review of Urban & Regional Development Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 2-17, March.
    15. Carlos Pestana BARROS & Zhongfei CHEN & Luis A. GIL-ALANA, 2013. "Long Memory in the Housing Price Indices in China," Asian Journal of Empirical Research, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 3(7), pages 785-807, July.
    16. Mei-Se Chien, 2010. "Structural Breaks and the Convergence of Regional House Prices," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 77-88, January.
    17. Zohrabyan, Tatevik & Leatham, David J. & Bessler, David A., 2008. "Cointegration Analysis of Regional House Prices in U.S," Proceedings: 2007 Agricultural and Rural Finance Markets in Transition, October 4-5, 2007, St. Louis, Missouri 48138, Regional Research Committee NC-1014: Agricultural and Rural Finance Markets in Transition.
    18. Arthur Grimes & David C. Maré & Melanie Morten, 2007. "Adjustment in Local Labour and Housing Markets," Working Papers 07_10, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    19. Alberto Montagnoli & Jun Nagaysu, 2013. "An investigation of housing affordability in the UK regions," Working Papers 1316, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    20. Rangan Gupta & Stephen Miller, 2012. "The Time-Series Properties of House Prices: A Case Study of the Southern California Market," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 339-361, April.
    21. Nicholas Apergis & James Payne, 2012. "Convergence in U.S. house prices by state: evidence from the club convergence and clustering procedure," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 103-111, July.
    22. Payne, James E., 2012. "The Long-Run Relationship among Regional Housing Prices: An Empirical Analysis of the U.S," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 42(1).
    23. Mei-Se Chien, 2013. "The Non-linear Ripple Effect of Housing Prices in Taiwan: A Smooth Transition Regressive Model," ERES eres2013_51, European Real Estate Society (ERES).

    More about this item


    House prices; convergence; unit roots; cointegration; principal components;

    JEL classification:

    • C5 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling
    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General


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