Real Estate Market Efficiency: A Survey of Literature

  • Gunther Maier (Contributor)
  • Shanaka Herath (Contributor)

Activity: Talk or presentationScience to science


In this paper we discuss the question whether or not the real estate market is efficient. We define market efficiency and the efficient market hypothesis as it had been developed in the literature on financial markets. Then, we discuss the empirical evidence that exists concerning the efficiency or inefficiency of financial markets, usually seen as the reference markets as far as market efficiency is concerned. In a separate section we turn to the real estate market. There we define the real estate market and discuss various aspects that are decisive for the efficiency of that market. The theoretical issues that have received the most attention are information efficiency, and (in-) efficiencies related with the market fundamentals. Accordingly, we survey the studies that have investigated the relation between information and the real estate market efficiency, and provide a review of the studies that test the weak and the semi-strong forms of market efficiency. Additionally, the real estate market efficiency is looked at from a market fundamentals point of view as well. These tests of efficiency include the studies that examine the cyclical behaviour, volatility and dispersion of real estate prices, and real estate price bubbles. Several papers that test the positive-feedback hypothesis related to price dispersion are also included. As it turns out, the result found in the literature is inconclusive. Despite strong evidence of mechanisms distorting the real estate market at the micro level, the market at the aggregate level seems to be surprisingly close to efficient.
Period24 Jun 200927 Jun 2009
Event titleAnnual European Real Estate Society Conference 2009
Event typeUnkonwn
Degree of RecognitionInternational