Skip to main content Skip to main content

House Price Growth Interdependencies and Comovement

This paper examines why there is house price comovement across some U.S. metropolitan areas (MSAs), and which MSAs cluster together for each of these reasons. Past studies have attributed common recessions in different regions as possible explanations for comovement. We explore other channels, and find some clusters based on common industry concentration (such as information technology), developable land area, as well as a cluster of MSAs that are desirable for retirees (in the sun belt). We find seven clusters of MSAs, where each cluster experiences idiosyncratic house price downturns, plus one distinct national house price cycle. Notably, only the housing downturn associated with the Great Recession spread across all the MSAs in our sample; all other house price downturns remained contained to a single cluster. We also identify MSA economic and geographic characteristics that correlate with cluster membership, which implies comovement due to mobility of residents. In addition, while prior research has found housing and business cycles to be related closely at the national level, we find very different house price comovement and employment comovement across clusters and across MSAs.

Read Full Text