IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals, and Misperceptions

  • Charles Himmelberg
  • Christopher Mayer
  • Todd Sinai

We construct measures of the annual cost of single-family housing for 46 metropolitan areas in the United States over the last 25 years and compare them with local rents and incomes as a way of judging the level of housing prices. Conventional metrics like the growth rate of house prices, the price-to-rent ratio, and the price-to-income ratio can be misleading because they fail to account both for the time series pattern of real long-term interest rates and predictable differences in the long-run growth rates of house prices across local markets. These factors are especially important in recent years because house prices are theoretically more sensitive to interest rates when rates are already low, and more sensitive still in those cities where the long-run rate of house price growth is high. During the 1980s, our measures show that houses looked most overvalued in many of the same cities that subsequently experienced the largest house price declines. We find that from the trough of 1995 to 2004, the cost of owning rose somewhat relative to the cost of renting, but not, in most cities, to levels that made houses look overvalued.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11643.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11643.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Himmelberg, Charles, Christopher Mayer and Todd Sinai. "Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals and Misperceptions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2005, v19(4,Fall), 67-92.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11643
Note: AP PE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Ortalo-Magne, Francois & Rady, Sven, 1999. "Boom in, bust out: Young households and the housing price cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 755-766, April.
  2. Monika Piazzesi & Martin Schneider & Selale Tuzel, 2006. "Housing, Consumption, and Asset Pricing," NBER Working Papers 12036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Genesove, David & Mayer, Christopher J, 1997. "Equity and Time to Sale in the Real Estate Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 255-69, June.
  4. Bennett, Paul & Peach, Richard & Peristiani, Stavros, 2001. "Structural Change in the Mortgage Market and the Propensity to Refinance," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(4), pages 955-75, November.
  5. Poterba, James M, 1984. "Tax Subsidies to Owner-occupied Housing: An Asset-Market Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(4), pages 729-52, November.
  6. Fran�ois Ortalo-Magné & Sven Rady, 2006. "Housing Market Dynamics: On the Contribution of Income Shocks and Credit Constraints ," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(2), pages 459-485.
  7. Mayo, Stephen K., 1981. "Theory and estimation in the economics of housing demand," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 95-116, July.
  8. David Genesove & Christopher Mayer, 2001. "Loss Aversion And Seller Behavior: Evidence From The Housing Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1233-1260, November.
  9. 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.
  10. Todd Sinai & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2003. "Owner-Occupied Housing as a Hedge Against Rent Risk," NBER Working Papers 9462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Joseph Gyourko & Todd Sinai, 2003. "The Spatial Distribution of Housing-Related Ordinary Income Tax Benefits," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 31(4), pages 527-575, December.
  12. Venti, Steven F. & Wise, David A., 1991. "Aging and the income value of housing wealth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 371-397, April.
  13. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko & Raven Saks, 2005. "Why Have Housing Prices Gone Up?," NBER Working Papers 11129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Campbell, John & Cocco, Joao, 2003. "Household Risk Management and Optimal Mortgage Choice," Scholarly Articles 3157876, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. Owen Lamont & Jeremy C. Stein, 1999. "Leverage and House-Price Dynamics in U.S. Cities," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(3), pages 498-514, Autumn.
  16. Engelhardt Gary V., 1994. "House Prices and the Decision to Save for Down Payments," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 209-237, September.
  17. Joao Cocco, 2000. "Hedging House Price Risk With Incomplete Markets," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 317, Society for Computational Economics.
  18. Min Hwang & John M. Quigley, 2006. "Economic Fundamentals In Local Housing Markets: Evidence From U.S. Metropolitan Regions," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 425-453.
  19. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1990. "Symposium on Bubbles," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 13-18, Spring.
  20. Antonio M. Merlo & François Ortalo-Magné, 2002. "Bargaining over Residential Real Estate: Evidence from England," CESifo Working Paper Series 778, CESifo Group Munich.
  21. Juan Ayuso & Fernando Restoy, 2003. "House prices and rents: an equilibrium asset pricing approach," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0304, Banco de Espa�a.
  22. Edward L. Glaeser, 1998. "Are Cities Dying?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 139-160, Spring.
  23. Edward L. Glaeser & Albert Saiz, 2003. "The Rise of the Skilled City," NBER Working Papers 10191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
  25. François Ortalo-Magné & Sven Randy, 2001. "Housing market dynamics: on the contribution of income shocks and credit constraints," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25049, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  26. Engelhardt, Gary V, 1996. "Consumption, Down Payments, and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(2), pages 255-71, May.
  27. Joseph Gyourko & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2006. "Superstar Cities," NBER Working Papers 12355, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Hanushek, Eric A & Quigley, John M, 1980. "What Is the Price Elasticity of Housing Demand?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(3), pages 449-54, August.
  29. Stein, Jeremy C, 1995. "Prices and Trading Volume in the Housing Market: A Model with Down-Payment Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 379-406, May.
  30. Patric H. Hendershott & Joel Slemrod, 1982. "Taxes and the User Cost of Capital for Owner-Occupied Housing," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 10(4), pages 375-393.
  31. Enrico Moretti, 2004. "Workers' Education, Spillovers, and Productivity: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 656-690, June.
  32. Christopher J. Mayer, 1993. "Taxes, income distribution, and the real estate cycle: why all houses do not appreciate at the same rate," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue May, pages 39-50.
  33. John M. Quigley, 1998. "Urban Diversity and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 127-138, Spring.
  34. Jonathan McCarthy & Richard W. Peach, 2004. "Are home prices the next "bubble"?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Dec, pages 1-17.
  35. Brueckner, Jan K., 1987. "The structure of urban equilibria: A unified treatment of the muth-mills model," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 20, pages 821-845 Elsevier.
  36. Marjorie Flavin & Takashi Yamashita, 2002. "Owner-Occupied Housing and the Composition of the Household Portfolio," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 345-362, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11643. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.