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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Working Papers
National and Regional Housing Vacancy: Insights Using Markov-switching Models
Jeffrey P. Cohen
Cletus C. Coughlin
Jonas C. Crews
Abstract

We examine housing vacancy rates over time and space using Markov-switching models. Our theoretical analysis extends a standard search and matching model for housing by incorporating regime-switching behavior and interregional spillovers. Such an approach is strongly supported by our empirical results. Our estimations allow us to examine differences in vacancy rates as well as explore the possibility of asymmetries within and across housing markets, depending on the state/regime of a given housing market. Estimated vacancy rates, conditional on the vacancy regime, vary across regions in all models. Models allowing for interregional effects tend to perform better than models lacking this feature. These models track vacancies well. Noteworthy is their performance during the Great Recession/Financial Crisis. The importance and diversity of interregional effects are demonstrated, and vacancies in a specific Census region are affected by vacancies in other regions. Moreover, the sizes of these effects depend on the vacancy state of the specific region.


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Jeffrey P. Cohen & Cletus C. Coughlin & Jonas C. Crews, National and Regional Housing Vacancy: Insights Using Markov-switching Models, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Working Papers 2018-7, 11 May 2018.
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Keywords: housing vacancy; Markov switching; search and matching; interregional spillovers
DOI: 10.20955/wp.2018.007
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