This paper studies the Swiss housing price determinants. The Swiss housing economy is reproduced by employing a macro-series from the last seventeen years and constructing a vector-autoregressive model. Conditional on a comparatively broad set of fundamental determinants considered, i.e. wealth, banking, demographic and real estate specific variables, the following findings are made: 1) real house price growth and construction activity dynamics are most sensitive to changes in population and construction prices, whereas real GDP, in contrary to common empirical findings in other countries, turns out to have only a minor impact in the short-term, 2) exogenous house price shocks have no long-term impacts on housing supply and vice versa, and 3) despite the recent substantial price increases, worries of overvaluation are unfounded. Furthermore, based on a self-constructed quality index, evidence is provided for a positive impact of quality improvements in supplied dwellings on house prices.
International Real Estate Review, 2009, Vol 12, Issue 3, p. 193-220