Regional house price co-movement in the USA: the medium cycle is not the business cycle
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Miles, W. Regional house price co-movement in the USA: the medium cycle is not the business cycle. Ann Reg Sci (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00168-022-01172-4
Co-movement in different regional housing markets has implications for portfolio management, as well as the effectiveness of monetary and other policies. Such co-movement has thus been the subject of several previous studies. Research on regional house price cohesion has tended to focus either on long-run convergence to a common level or on business cycle synchronization. While the extent of both types of relationships is important, research on national housing, credit and equities has established the salience of co-movement at the intermediate frequency, or of medium cycles. Indeed, at the national level, medium cycles in housing and credit together have been shown to characterize the financial cycle. Research on the UK has found that regional house price co-movement is different at business versus medium cycle frequencies. In this paper, we examine co-movement of house prices across the regions of the USA. We compare co-movement at the business and medium cycle frequencies. We find that medium cycles are more volatile than short-term fluctuations, making medium-term movements more important for housing. Moreover, house price synchronization across regions is for the most part greater at the medium than the short-term frequency. There did appear to be an increase in co-movement around the time of the early 1990s recession, although this was not sustained for all regions or all frequencies. Lastly, while short-term synchronization has been declining among the regions of the US housing market, medium co-movement appears to be rising over the last several decades.
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