House Prices and Growth with Fixed Land Supply

House Prices and Growth with Fixed Land Supply

By David Miles and James Sefton

Published in The Economics Journal


We analyse housing costs and patterns of residential development over the long term in a dynamic general equilibrium. We show that in a growing economy the speed of travel improvements is crucial to the evolution of land and house prices. We derive a condition for the rate of change in transport efficiency that generates flat land and house prices on a balanced growth path. We present evidence that this condition was satisfied in many countries between the mid-nineteenth century and the mid-twentieth century, but since then passenger transport improvements have slowed down with major implications for how house prices evolve.

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