1887

OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Are House Prices Nearing a Peak?

A Probit Analysis for 17 OECD Countries

House prices have been moving up strongly in real terms since the mid-1990s in the majority of OECD countries, with the ongoing upswing the longest of its kind in the OECD area since the 1970s. If interest rates were to rise significantly, real house prices may be at risk of nearing a peak. The historical record suggests that the subsequent drops in prices in real terms might be large and that the process could be protracted. To quantify the probability that a peak is nearing in the current situation a probit model was estimated for the period 1970-2005 on a restricted set of what are generally agreed to be the main explanatory variables. Aside from interest rates, these include measures of overheating, such as the gap between real house prices and their long-run trend and the rate of change in real house prices in the recent past. The main finding is that an increase in interest rates by about 1 to 2 percentage points would result in probabilities of a peak nearing of 50% or more in the United States, France, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain and Sweden.

English

Keywords: house prices, business cycles, financial markets
JEL: E32: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles / Business Fluctuations; Cycles; E52: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit / Monetary Policy; F42: International Economics / Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance / International Policy Coordination and Transmission
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