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Hedging Housing Risk in London

  • François Ortalo-Magné
  • Matteo Iacoviello

This paper investigates the benefits of allowing households to compensate the portfolio distortion due to their housing consumption through investments in housing price derivatives. Focusing on the London market, we show that a major loss from over-investment in housing is that households are forced to hold a very risky portfolio. However, the strong performance of the London housing market means that little is lost in terms of expected returns. Even households with limited wealth are better off owning their home rather than renting and investing in financial assets, as long as they are willing to face the financial risk involved. In this context, access to housing price derivatives would benefit most poor homeowners looking to limit their risk exposure. It would also benefit wealthier investors looking for the high returns provided by housing investments without the costs of direct ownership of properties. Comparisons with French, Swedish and US data provide a broader perspective on our findings.

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Paper provided by University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research in its series Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers with number 02-03.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:wisule:02-03
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  1. Englund, Peter & Quigley, John M. & Redfearn, Christian L., 1998. "Improved Price Indexes for Real Estate: Measuring the Course of Swedish Housing Prices," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 171-196, September.
  2. Campbell, John & Viceira, Luis, 1999. "Consumption and Portfolio Decisions When Expected Returns are Time Varying," Scholarly Articles 3163266, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Englund, Peter & Hwang, Min & Quigley, John M, 2002. "Hedging Housing Risk," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1-2), pages 167-200, Jan.-Marc.
  4. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller & Allan N. Weiss, 1991. "Index-Based Futures and Options Markets in Real Estate," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1006, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Joao Cocco, 2000. "Hedging House Price Risk With Incomplete Markets," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 317, Society for Computational Economics.
  6. Ortalo-Magne, Francois & Rady, Sven, 2002. "Tenure choice and the riskiness of non-housing consumption," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 266-279, September.
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