The research question of this paper is whether the Dutch housing market is overvalued or not. This is investigated by using different types of error correction models and by examining the impact of different variables that can explain house price changes in the Netherlands.

The current financial crisis confirms the notion that developments in the residential property sector are important for the economy as a whole. For that reason it is important to fully understand the factors that affect the housing market. Therefore we need a long-run model approach that relates house prices to fundamentals. However the model should also be able to detect bubbles in the short run. As a first step, we look at the affordability of house prices and mortgage payments in order to check how well the housing market performs in the short run. In the medium to long-run, we estimate an error correction model relating prices to fundamentals, using variables like interest rate, labour income, financial assets of households, and household stock. The error correction model tests whether prices tend to revert to some equilibrium price level. We evaluate existing house price models for the Netherlands, which we use as a benchmark for comparison to our improved model. Finally, we try to forecast housing prices based on a few simple economic scenarios.

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