Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics

No 16-2004: Capital gains taxation and house price fluctuations

Clemens Fuest , Bernd Huber and Søren Bo Nielsen
Additional contact information
Clemens Fuest: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads 3 C, 5. sal, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Bernd Huber: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads 3 C, 5. sal, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Søren Bo Nielsen: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads 3 C, 5. sal, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark

Abstract: Recent years have seen large swings in house prices in many countries. Motivated by housing price variations, proposals for taxing capital gains on housing have repeatedly been put forth. The idea seems to be that such taxes would curb the redistribution occurring between those owning houses and those trying to get into the market for owner-occupied housing. Our paper shows that at least in simple settings, a tax on real capital gains on housing will only lead to even bigger price swings and will not be able to redistribute between people appearing on either side of the housing market.

Keywords: capital gains tax; housing market; price fluctuations

JEL-codes: H23; H24; R31

29 pages, September 12, 2006

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