The 2000s Housing Cycle With 2020 Hindsight: A Neo-Kindlebergerian View
80 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2021
Date Written: August 4, 2021
With "2020 hindsight,'' the 2000s housing cycle is not a boom-bust but rather a boom-bust-rebound at both the national level and across cities. We argue this pattern reflects a larger role for fundamentally-rooted explanations than previously thought. We construct a city-level long-run fundamental using a spatial equilibrium regression framework in which house prices are determined by local income, amenities, and supply. The fundamental predicts not only 1997-2019 price and rent growth but also the amplitude of the boom-bust-rebound and foreclosures. This evidence motivates our neo-Kindlebergerian model, in which an improvement in fundamentals triggers a boom-bust-rebound. Agents learn about the fundamentals by observing "dividends'' but become over-optimistic due to diagnostic expectations. A bust ensues when over-optimistic beliefs start to correct, exacerbated by a price-foreclosure spiral that drives prices below their long-run level. The rebound follows as prices converge to a path commensurate with higher fundamental growth. The estimated model explains the boom-bust-rebound with a single fundamental shock and accounts quantitatively for cross-city patterns in the dynamics of prices and foreclosures.
Keywords: 2000s housing cycle, diagnostic expectations, foreclosure crisis
JEL Classification: E32, G01, G4, R31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation