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Housing prices and speculation dynamics: a study of Auckland housing market

Yang Yang and Michael Rehm

Journal of Property Research, 2021, vol. 38, issue 4, 286-304

Abstract: Many housing markets across the globe have experienced upward trends in real estate prices during the past two decades. The dynamics between housing prices and speculation have been analysed by existing housing literature, but this study has a few features that may deepen the understanding of this topic. This research uses transaction-level data, focuses on only investor-purchase records, distinguishes leveraged transactions from unleveraged ones and adopts a new proxy for property speculation. Furthermore, the price elasticity of housing supply has been examined as the price responsiveness is important for understanding the topic in a supply-constrained market. We build a stock adjustment model to estimate the elasticity and a vector error-correction model to conduct Granger causality tests, impulse response analyses and a variance decomposition analysis. The findings uncover a feedback loop in a market with inelastic housing supply: investors’ speculative behaviour lifts Auckland housing prices which in turn spur further housing speculation.

Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1080/09599916.2021.1873405

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jpropr:v:38:y:2021:i:4:p:286-304