Housing Bubbles: A Survey

Posted: 31 Aug 2011

See all articles by Christopher J. Mayer

Christopher J. Mayer

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 2011


The past 25 years have represented two periods of extreme movements in U.S. and global house prices that appear to be much larger than can be easily explained by changes in fundamentals. These episodes spurred research on housing bubbles that focused attention on the role of outsized expectations in excessive house price appreciation. By contrast, some economists pointed to alternative explanations for excess volatility, including liquidity constraints, lending cycles, search externalities, and zoning delays. Empirical work supports the role of these factors in explaining at least some of the cyclical variation of house prices and inventories of homes for sale. Existing research does not yet provide a crisp definition of a housing bubble nor does it allow researchers to predict where or when bubbles can occur.

Suggested Citation

Mayer, Christopher J., Housing Bubbles: A Survey (September 2011). Annual Review of Economics, Vol. 3, pp. 559-577, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1920051 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.economics.012809.103822

Christopher J. Mayer (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics