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Macroeconomic Uncertainty and the Comovement in Buying versus Renting in the United States

Goodness Aye () and Rangan Gupta ()
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Goodness Aye: Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

No 201832, Working Papers from University of Pretoria, Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper characterizes the sources of the comovement in the U.S metropolitan buy-rent growth rate. The analysis is based on quarterly buy-rent indices from 1982:Q1 to 2016:Q4. To this end, we used the dynamic factor model to decompose the index into national and local factors. The national component contributed more to the variation in the buy-rent indices relative to the local component with variance decomposition values of 72% and 27% respectively albeit this varied across the cities. We further examined the sensitivity of the national buy-rent factor to macroeconomic uncertainty. Our full sample results show that uncertainty has a significant negative effect on the buy-rent behavior thus favouring buying a home as a wealth accumulation channel relative to renting a similar home. The results from the recursive estimation further confirmed a dominant negative relationship with fewer periods of positive relationship. The implications of these findings are drawn.

Keywords: Buy-rent choice; consumer behavior; dynamic latent factor model; development; economic uncertainty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C32 C38 E21 E30 R31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mac and nep-ure
Date: 2018-05
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