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Finance and Economics Discussion Series logo links to FEDS home page What Do Financial Asset Prices Say About the Housing Market?
J. Benson Durham
2006-32


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--vis the broader market, or with respect to recent history.

Keywords: Home prices, financial assets

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Last update: September 12, 2006