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Demographic Factors and Real House Prices

Richard K. Green and Patric H. Hendershott
Real house prices are directly determined by the willingness of households to pay for (and willingness of builders to supply) a constant-quality house. Changes in the quantity of housing demanded will affect real prices only to the extent that the long-run housing supply schedule is positively sloped. In this paper we use 1980 census data to measure the impact of the age structure and real income per household on the willingness of households to pay for a constant quality house. Extrapolating these variables forward to 2010, we conclude that evolving demographic forces are likely to raise real house prices. not lower them.