The long-run price elasticity for alternative specifications of new housing supply is estimated using U.S. annual data for 1950 through 1994. The basic model expresses residential construction as a linear function of new housing price and the prices of construction inputs. Long-run elasticities range from 1.6 to 3.7, suggesting that new housing supply is price elastic. Residential construction responds to both the real interest and expected inflation rates, but other construction cost variables perform poorly. However, the results are sensitive to the time-series processes underlying the variables. A modified model that expresses residential construction as a function of changes in input prices, rather than their levels, produces a long-run elasticity of about 0.8 and a significant inverse relationship between new housing supply and the construction wage rate.
The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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