Until the recent introduction of real estate futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), there have been few opportunities to manage house price risk. This paper examines whether house price risk can be effectively hedged in Las Vegas, one of the CME contract cities. The analysis considers hedging from the viewpoint of real estate investment groups, mortgage portfolio investors, builder/developers and individual homeowners. For investment groups and mortgage holders holding a mix of new and existing home assets, CME futures would have reduced house price risk by more than 88% over the 1994–2006 period. Similarly, homeowners implicitly hedging price volatility of existing homes also would have fared well over the sample period. However, builder/developers worried about new home price appreciation would have been much less successful in managing their risk. One important caveat, minimum variance hedge ratios change over time and may cause hedge performance to suffer.
HedgingRisk managementHousingResidential real estate