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Speculators and Middlemen: The Strategy and Performance of Investors in the Housing Market

Author

Listed:
  • Patrick Bayer
  • Christopher Geissler
  • Kyle Mangum
  • James W. Roberts

Abstract

Housing market transactions are a matter of public record and thus provide a rare opportunity to analyze the behavior, performance, and strategies of individual investors. Using data for all housing transactions in the Los Angeles area from 1988-2009, this paper provides empirical evidence on investor behavior that is consistent with several rationales for speculative investment in the finance literature, including the roles of middlemen and naïve speculators. Speculative activity by novice investors increased sharply in the recent housing boom. These investors earned little more than the market rate of appreciation and demonstrated no ability to foresee market price movements.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Bayer & Christopher Geissler & Kyle Mangum & James W. Roberts, 2011. "Speculators and Middlemen: The Strategy and Performance of Investors in the Housing Market," NBER Working Papers 16784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16784
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16784.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. De Long, J Bradford & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 703-738, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2011. "Anatomy of the Beginning of the Housing Boom: U.S. Neighborhoods and Metropolitan Areas, 1993-2009," NBER Working Papers 17374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Anthony A. DeFusco & Charles G. Nathanson & Eric Zwick, 2017. "Speculative Dynamics of Prices and Volume," NBER Working Papers 23449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Andrew F. Haughwout & Donghoon Lee & Joseph Tracy & Wilbert Van der Klaauw, 2011. "Real estate investors, the leverage cycle, and the housing market crisis," Staff Reports 514, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    4. Charles G. Nathanson & Eric Zwick, 2017. "Arrested Development: Theory and Evidence of Supply-Side Speculation in the Housing Market," NBER Working Papers 23030, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Todd Sinai, 2012. "House Price Moments in Boom-Bust Cycles," NBER Chapters,in: Housing and the Financial Crisis, pages 19-68 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Yuet-Yee Wong & Randall Wright, 2011. "Buyers, Sellers and Middlemen: Variations on Search-Theoretic Themes," NBER Working Papers 17511, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Eric Zwick & Charles Nathanson & Anthony DeFusco, 2017. "Speculative Dynamics of Prices and Volume," 2017 Meeting Papers 239, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Patrick Bayer & Kyle Mangum & James W. Roberts, 2016. "Speculative Fever: Investor Contagion in the Housing Bubble," NBER Working Papers 22065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General
    • 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
    • R51 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Finance in Urban and Rural Economies

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