Expectation-Driven Cycles in the Housing Market: Evidence from Survey Data
Using a vector-autoregression (VAR) model and data from the University of Michigan Survey of Consumers, we provide evidence on the importance of news and consumers' beliefs for housing-market dynamics and aggregate fluctuations. We document that innovations to News on Business Conditions generate hump-shaped responses in house prices and other macroeconomic variables. We also show that innovations to Expectations of Rising House Prices are particularly important in explaining the path of macroeconomic variables during housing booms. To disentangle the effects of News on Business Conditions from other sources of expectation-driven cycles, we estimate a VAR where the News variable is ordered first. Innovations to News on Business Conditions generate Expectations of Rising House Prices. However, during housing booms, innovations to Expectations of Rising House Prices unrelated to News on Business Conditions account for a larger part of macroeconomic fluctuations. Shocks to News and Expectations account together for more than half of the forecast error variance of house prices, and other macroeconomic variables during periods of booms in house prices. Our results are consistent with the transmission of news shocks in Iacoviello and Neri's (2010) model of the housing market.