Testing for bubbles in indirect property price cycles

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Brooks, Chris ; Katsaris, Apostolos ; McGough, Tony ; Tsolacos, Sotiris (2001)

Speculative bubbles are generated when investors include the expectation of the future price in their information set. Under these conditions, the actual market price of the security, that is set according to demand and supply, will be a function of the future price and vice versa. In the presence of speculative bubbles, positive expected bubble returns will lead to increased demand and will thus force prices to diverge from their fundamental value. This paper investigates whether the prices of UK equity-traded property stocks over the past 15 years contain evidence of a speculative bubble. The analysis draws upon the methodologies adopted in various studies examining price bubbles in the general stock market. Fundamental values are generated using two models: the dividend discount and the Gordon growth. Variance bounds tests are then applied to test for bubbles in the UK property asset prices. Finally, cointegration analysis is conducted to provide further evidence on the presence of bubbles. Evidence of the existence of bubbles is found, although these appear to be transitory and concentrated in the mid-to-late 1990s.
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