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Home, Sweet Home or Is It - Always? Testing the Efficiency of the Norwegian Housing Market

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Abstract

The question of whether the housing market is efficient or not is posed by an increasing number of economists, policymakers, current homeowners and prospective homebuyers. This article tests the efficiency hypothesis on data from the Norwegian housing market in its capital, Oslo. We employ the Case-Shiller time-persistence-test on a repeated-sales model of a house price index and returns to housing. Our data cover the period 1991-2002 and comprise 20 752 transactions of same-object-repeated-sales. We explain why certain features, sometimes suppressed in earlier tests, of the data set are of importance in efficiency tests, and argue that ours is particularly well-suited for the purpose. We demonstrate that the repeated-sales house price index contains inertia and time-persistence. In addition, we investigate how the price history of returns; which consist of capital gains, dividends, and interest payments; can be exploited to predict future returns. Both the house price index and housing returns contain forecastable elements, so we reject the null hypothesis of martingale processes, a finding that is indicative of Case-Shiller inefficiency. This discovery is supplemented with an exploration of trading and timing rules by examinations of intra-market and inter-market returns. We show that the housing market consistently yield higher return at lower risk than does the stock market over the period, which is inconsistent with inter-market efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Erling Røed Larsen & Steffen Weum, 2007. "Home, Sweet Home or Is It - Always? Testing the Efficiency of the Norwegian Housing Market," Discussion Papers 506, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:506
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    File URL: http://www.ssb.no/a/publikasjoner/pdf/DP/dp506.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Maier, Gunther & Herath, Shanaka, 2009. "Real Estate Market Efficiency. A Survey of Literature," SRE-Discussion Papers 402, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    efficient market hypothesis; excess returns; house prices; housing market; martingale process; risk; time persistency; trading rules;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

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