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Perception of House Price Risk and Homeownership

Author

Listed:
  • Manuel Adelino
  • Antoinette Schoar
  • Felipe Severino

Abstract

This paper analyzes the importance of household perceptions of house price risk in explaining homeownership choice. While a majority of US households (71%) believes that housing is a “safe” investment, renters are much more likely to perceive housing as risky. Risk perceptions vary across demographic groups, but significant differences persist after controlling for observables, such as income, savings, or location. Current housing decisions and future intentions to buy versus rent are strongly correlated with perceptions of house price risk. Households’ exposure to housing risk due to financial constraints, expected mobility or labor income risk affect the decision to buy versus rent but do not mitigate the impact of risk perceptions on housing choices. Finally, we show that all households update their beliefs about the riskiness of housing in response to past (local) house price changes, but renters are much slower to update than owners. Since renters’ decisions to buy are especially sensitive to their perception of house price risk, it might explain their delayed entry into home ownership during a house price run-up and even prolong the housing cycle.

Suggested Citation

  • Manuel Adelino & Antoinette Schoar & Felipe Severino, 2018. "Perception of House Price Risk and Homeownership," NBER Working Papers 25090, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25090
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Joseph Briggs & Christopher Tonetti, 2019. "Risky Insurance: Insurance Portfolio Choice with Incomplete Markets," 2019 Meeting Papers 1388, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Han, Bing & Han, Lu & Zhou, Zhengyi, 2020. "Housing Market and Entrepreneurship: Micro Evidence from China," MPRA Paper 102597, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 17 Aug 2020.
    3. Francesco D’Acunto & Ulrike Malmendier & Juan Ospina & Michael Weber, 2019. "Exposure to Daily Price Changes and Inflation Expectations," NBER Working Papers 26237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Ben-David, Itzhak & Fermand, Elyas & Kuhnen, Camelia M. & Li, Geng, 2018. "Expectations Uncertainty and Household Economic Behavior," Working Paper Series 2018-25, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G4 - Financial Economics - - Behavioral Finance

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