Bubbles Are Departures from Equilibrium Housing Markets: Evidence from Singapore and Taiwan
Tay, Darrell Jiajie
Tee, Shang You
Cheong, Siew Ann
Date of Issue2016
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
The housing prices in many Asian cities have grown rapidly since mid-2000s, leading to many reports of bubbles. However, such reports remain controversial as there is no widely accepted definition for a housing bubble. Previous studies have focused on indices, or assumed that home prices are lognomally distributed. Recently, Ohnishi et al. showed that the tail-end of the distribution of (Japan/Tokyo) becomes fatter during years where bubbles are suspected, but stop short of using this feature as a rigorous definition of a housing bubble. In this study, we look at housing transactions for Singapore (1995 to 2014) and Taiwan (2012 to 2014), and found strong evidence that the equilibrium home price distribution is a decaying exponential crossing over to a power law, after accounting for different housing types. We found positive deviations from the equilibrium distributions in Singapore condominiums and Zhu Zhai Da Lou in the Greater Taipei Area. These positive deviations are dragon kings, which thus provide us with an unambiguous and quantitative definition of housing bubbles. Also, the spatial-temporal dynamics show that bubble in Singapore is driven by price pulses in two investment districts. This finding provides a valuable insight for policymakers on implementation and evaluation of cooling measures.
© 2016 Tay et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.