No-Bubble Condition: Model-free Tests in Housing Markets

Stefano Giglio, Matteo Maggiori, Johannes Stroebel

NBER Working Paper No. 20154
Issued in May 2014
NBER Program(s):   AP   CF   EFG   IFM   ME

We test for the existence of infinitely-lived bubbles in housing markets by directly measuring failures of the pricing condition requiring the present value of infinite-maturity payments to be zero. This condition is central to workhorse models of bubbles. In the U.K. and Singapore, property ownership takes the form of either leaseholds or freeholds. Leaseholds are finite-maturity ownership contracts with maturities often exceeding 700 years; freeholds are perpetual contracts. The price difference between long-maturity leaseholds and freeholds reflects the present value of the freehold after leasehold expiry, thus directly measuring the no-bubble condition. We find no evidence of infinitely-lived bubbles.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20154

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