Keywords: Home prices, financial assets
Abstract: This paper examines the first three moments of investors' expectations for the housing sector. That is, first, what do
financial markets imply about expected future home prices? Second, how much confidence do investors have in their
forecast? And, third, do market participants see more downside than upside risk? Housing futures and options, which
trade on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), are not yet deep and liquid, and derivatives on homebuilders' shares
reflect considerable idiosyncratic information and are therefore an imperfect proxy. Nonetheless, prices suggest that
investors currently expect some mild depreciation in home values within the next year. Also, uncertainty has increased,
but, generally inconsistent with the perception of a "bubble," the implied risks do not seem particularly tilted to the
downside. Probability density functions derived from options on homebuilders' stocks are not appreciably skewed to the
left in general, vis-à-vis the broader market, or with respect to recent history.
Full paper (337 KB PDF)
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Last update: September 12, 2006