Residential Construction Costs and the Supply of New Housing: Endogeneity and Bias in Construction Cost Indexes

Residential Construction Costs and the Supply of New Housing: Endogeneity and Bias in... Change in the level of residential construction affects macroeconomic conditions and is an important determinant of movements in house prices. Theory teaches us that increases in the cost of construction should reduce the supply of new housing. Yet empirical research has failed to find a consistent relationship between these costs and housing starts. This article introduces an entirely new set of micro-data on housing construction costs to study this issue. We develop quality-controlled, hedonic construction cost series from these data. Using this series, we estimate housing supply and construction cost functions for new single-family residences. This research demonstrates that bias in the commercial cost indexes used in existing housing supply studies is a likely cause of their poor performance in existing estimates of the supply of new single-family housing. The bias appears to be caused by an incorrect measure of labor costs and a failure to address the endogeneity of construction costs and construction activity. In contrast, starts regressions using the hedonic cost series generate much more sensible results. We find that housing starts are quite cost elastic; construction costs are endogenous in the new housing supply function, and the cost shares of material and labor in the structure of new residences are approximately 65 and 35%, respectively. The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics Springer Journals

Residential Construction Costs and the Supply of New Housing: Endogeneity and Bias in Construction Cost Indexes

Loading next page...
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright © 1999 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Economics; Regional/Spatial Science; Financial Services
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site


You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.



billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial