Testing for Bubbles in Real Estate Price Cycles
Journal of Property Research, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 341-346, 2001
Posted: 5 Dec 2004
This paper investigates whether the prices of UK equity-traded property stocks over the past fifteen years contain evidence of a speculative bubble. Speculative bubbles are generated when investors include the expectation of the future price in their information set. In the presence of speculative bubbles, positive expected bubble returns will lead to increased demand and will thus force prices to diverge from their fundamental value. The present analysis draws upon the methodologies adopted in various studies examining price bubbles in the general stock market. Fundamental values are generated using two models: the dividend discount and the Gordon growth. Variance bounds tests are then applied to test for bubbles in UK property asset prices. Finally, cointegration analysis is conducted to provide further evidence on the presence of bubbles. Evidence of the existence of bubbles is found but these appear to be transitory and concentrated in the mid-to-late 1990s. Investors in property stocks should be aware that in periods when bubbles are present the market does not move on the basis of the fundamentals and abrupt price corrections can occur.
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