Journal of Applied Finance & Banking

Can RMB Exchange Rate Expectations Explain the Fluctuations of China’s Housing Prices?

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  • Abstract 
    Unlike existing literature that has focused on the relationship between exchange rate and housing price, this paper studies the housing price fluctuations from the perspective of RMB exchange rate expectation to resolve the dilemma “guarantee housing price or exchange rate” after the sub-prime mortgage crisis. This paper shows that housing prices responded negatively to RMB appreciation expectation from 1999 to 2008, and positively from 2009 to 2019. After 2009, exchange rate expectation is the Granger causality of housing prices. After introducing the U.S. Economic Policy Uncertainty (EPU) released by Baker et al.(2016), the explanatory power of exchange rate expectations to housing price fluctuations declines but it's still significant. When EPU increased, housing prices responded negatively after a brief positive response. Besides exchange rate expectation, several unobservable factors with rich economic implications can explain the fluctuations of housing prices in China in the interval of 2006M01–2018M12. The empirical results show that the degree of Chinese government reversal intervention, interest rate spread between China and the U.S., and EPU can explain the exchange rate expectation. The government can control the degree of reversal intervention to affect the exchange rate expectation and realize the housing price control indirectly. 
    JEL classification numbers: E44, R31, G18 
    Keywords: RMB exchange rate expectations, China's housing price fluctuations, FAVAR model, Degree of reversal intervention.