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Nafeesa Yunus
Professor Wins Merrick's Best Paper with Look at U.S. Housing Market

Nafeesa Yunus, associate professor of finance and real estate in the Merrick School of Business, received the school’s “Outstanding Article of the Year Award” for her 2013 publication, “A Closer Look at the U.S. Housing Market: Modeling Relationships Among Regions,” in the prestigious Journal of Real Estate Economics—the oldest academic journal concentrating on the real estate industry. The journal is considered the premier journal for real estate related topics. 

In her paper co-authored with with University of Texas-Arlington Professor Peggy Swanson, Yunus investigates the dynamic interactions among nine U.S. regional housing markets by estimating the multivariate cointegration model using both autoregressive and moving average representations over the period from 1975 to 2010.

“We attempt to answer four pertinent questions in our research,” says Yunus. “The first question we attempt to answer is ‘Are the regional housing markets integrated, and has the level of integration among these markets increased over time?’ Secondly, ‘Can one or more of the regions be classified as independent regions that operate independently of the remaining housing regions?’ Next, we ask: ‘Can one or more of the regions be classified as the driver region that leads the other housing regions toward long-run equilibrium relationships?’ And lastly, ‘Can market fundamentals explain trends and interactions in regional housing market?’”

The professors’ results indicate that the extent of convergence among the regional housing markets substantially increased over time, and more so after the housing bubble burst in the latter part of 2006. Moreover, they show that the housing regions of New England, the mid-Atlantic and the Pacific were the primary regional drivers that led the regions toward long-run equilibrium during the 1975-2006 sub-period. Further, their analysis indicates that the relationships among the regions cannot be attributed to trends in two important macro-economic fundamentals: regional per capita income and regional GDP. Finally, their short-run analysis reveals substantial lead-lag relationships among all the markets in the post-crisis period. 

Yunus and Swanson conclude that “the findings for the study should be beneficial to investors and portfolio managers who are contemplating investing in the U.S. housing sector and to policymakers and regulators who are eager to understand the dynamics of U.S. regional housing markets. For investors, diversification benefits across the U.S. housing regions have decreased substantially over time. Moreover, regulators should pay special attention to the driver regions in order to anticipate and hopefully avoid future bubbles.”

Professor Yunus is passionate about her research work.  Her research interests lie in the areas of financial econometrics, globalization of capital markets, macro aspects of financial markets and instruments, international finance, financial contagion, international real estate investments, portfolio strategy and the U.S. housing market. She looks forward to continuing to publish prolifically in real estate and finance.

Yunus’ award was one of several presented to the faculty. Others are:

Awards for Outstanding Research and Scholarship

Doris and Robert McCurdy Chair:  Kalyan Singhal, D.B.A., professor of management

Ernst & Young Chair in Accounting:  Mikhail Pevzner, Ph.D., associate professor of accounting

Frank Baker Chair:  Jaya Singhal, Ph.D., professor of decision science

Harry Y. Wright Chair (Economics or Finance):  Hoang Nguyen, Ph.D., associate professor of finance

Lockheed Martin Chair: Lourdes White, D.B.A., professor of accounting

John P. & Margaret M. Thompson Professorship in MIS:  Eusebio Scornavacca, Ph.D., assistant professor of management information systems

J. William Middendorf Distinguished Professor:  Dennis Pitta, Ph.D., professor of marketing.

Baltimore Gas and Electric Chair:  Regina Bento, Ph.D., professor of management

CSX Leadership Chair:  Susan Rawson Zacur, D.B.A., professor of management

Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Research

Dean Clifford C. James Chair for Distinguished Teaching:  Lisa Stickney, Ph.D., Eusebio Scornavacca, Ph.D.

Yale Gordon Chair for Distinguished Teaching:   David Lingelbach, Ph.D.; Mikhail Pevzner, Ph.D.

Chase Manhattan Bank Research Award (Economics and Finance):  Dong Chen, Ph.D.

Awards for Outstanding Service to the University and Community At-Large

Dean Daniel Costello Service Award: J.C. Weiss, lecturer in finance

Turner Medallion: J.C. Weiss, lecturer in finance

G. Maxwell Armor Chair: Frank van Vliet, lecturer in marketing

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