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IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers
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Efficiency in the UK Commercial Property Market: A Long-run Perspective
Informationally efficient prices are a necessary requirement for optimal resource allocation in the real estate market. Prices are informationally efficient if they reflect buildings’ benefit to marginal buyers, thereby taking account of all available information on future market development. Prices that do not reflect available information may lead to over- or undersupply if developers react to these inefficient prices. In this study, we examine the efficiency of the UK commercial property market and the interaction between prices, construction costs, and new supply. We collated a unique data set covering the years 1920 onwards, which we employ in our study. First, we assess if real estate prices were in accordance with present values, thereby testing for informational efficiency. By comparing prices and estimated present values, we can measure informational inefficiency. Second, we assess if developers reacted correctly to price signals. Development (or the lack thereof) should be triggered by deviations between present values and cost; if prices do not reflect present values, then they should have no impact on development decisions.
Investor Rationality and House Price Bubbles: The Case of Berlin and the German Reunification
German Economic Review,
We analyze the behavior of investors in the Berlin rental apartment house market over the years 1980–2004. Using constant-quality multipliers (price–rent ratios), we reject the hypothesis that multipliers in the market were set in a rational manner. Supported by narrative evidence, we conjecture that investors misjudged the economic effects of the German reunification. To examine this, we employ a stylized structural economic model and analyze the effects of shocks on rational multipliers. It seems that investors confused the reunification with a permanent supply side shock to the economy. By basing their investment decisions on this misjudgement, investors behaved irrationally, but in a very uncertain and unprecedented environment.
Stages of the 2007/2008 Global Financial Crisis: Is there a Wandering Asset-Price Bubble?
This study argues that the severity of the current global financial crisis is strongly influenced by changeable allocations of the global savings. This process is named a “wandering asset bubble”. Since its original outbreak induced by the demise of the subprime mortgage market and the mortgage-backed securities in the U.S., this crisis has reverberated across other credit areas, structured financial products and global financial institutions. Four distinctive stages of the crisis are identified: the meltdown of the subprime mortgage market, spillovers into broader credit market, the liquidity crisis epitomized by the fallout of Bear Sterns with some contagion effects on other financial institutions, and the commodity price bubble. Monetary policy responses aimed at stabilizing financial markets are proposed.
Keeping the Bubble Alive! The Effects of Urban Renewal and Demolition Subsidies in the East German Housing Market
German urban renewal programs are favoring the cities in the Eastern part since the re-unification in 1990. This was accompanied additionally by attractive tax incentives, designed as an accelerated declining balance method of depreciation for housing investments during the late 1990s. The accumulated needs for comfortable housing after 40 years of a disastrous housing policy of the GDR era were generally accepted as justification for the subvention policy. But various subsidies and tax incentives caused a construction boom, false allocations, and a price bubble in Eastern Germany. After recognizing that the expansion of housing supply was not in line with the demographic development and that high vacancy rates were jeopardizing housing companies and their financial backers, policy changed in 2001. Up to now, the government provides demolition grants to reduce the vast oversupply. By means of a real option approach, it is ex-plained how different available forms of subsidies and economic incentives for landlords lift real estate values. The option value representing growth expectations and opportunities is calculated as an observable market value less an estimated fundamental value. Empirical results disclose higher option premiums for cities in Eastern Germany and a strong correlation of the option premium with urban renewal spending.
Stages of the 2007/2008 Global Financial Crisis: Is there a Wandering Asset Price Bubble?
Economics E-Journal 43. Munich Personal RePEc Archive 2008,
This study identifies five distinctive stages of the current global financial crisis: the meltdown of the subprime mortgage market; spillovers into broader credit market; the liquidity crisis epitomized by the fallout of Northern Rock, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers with counterparty risk effects on other financial institutions; the commodity price bubble, and the ultimate demise of investment banking in the U.S. The study argues that the severity of the crisis is influenced strongly by changeable allocations of global savings coupled with excessive credit creation, which lead to over-pricing of varied types of assets. The study calls such process a “wandering asset-price bubble“. Unstable allocations elevate market, credit, and liquidity risks. Monetary policy responses aimed at stabilizing financial markets are proposed.