American Enterprise Institute (AEI) adjunct scholar Morris A. Davis is the academic director of the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate and is the James A. Graaskamp Chair of Real Estate in the Department of Real Estate and Urban Land Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he has worked since September 2006.
Davis is a member of the Academic Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and a fellow of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. He is also an independent director of American Capital Agency Corporation and American Capital Mortgage Investment Corporation, both mortgage real estate investment trusts (REITs). Earlier in his career, Davis was an economist at the Federal Reserve Board. He has been widely published on issues relating to the US housing market and has developed price indexes for land in residential use.
A frequent lecturer at universities and central banks around the world, Davis has a B.A. and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Our data show that land prices were more volatile than house prices during the recent boom/bust cycle. In areas where land was inexpensive in 2000, the land share of property value jumped during the boom, and this rise in the landshare was a useful predictor of the subsequent crash in house prices. These results highlight the value of focusing on land for assessing house-price risk.
For decades U.S. housing policy has focused on promoting homeownership. In this study, I show that the set of policies designed to further homeownership has been ineffective and expensive and that homeownership as a public policy goal is not well supported.
Until recently, a foreclosure on an owner-occupied home in the United States was a relatively rare event. Since mid-year 2006, foreclosure proceedings have more than tripled and now occur at the rate of at least 1 percent per quarter.