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Ken  Johnson, Ph.D. - Florida Atlantic University. Boca Raton, FL, US

Ken Johnson, Ph.D. Ken  Johnson, Ph.D.

Associate Dean | Florida Atlantic University


Ken Johnson's research covers housing, housing cycles, and mortgage markets.







Housing market in South Florida ripe for the picking




Ken Johnson, Ph.D., is a well-known scholar with numerous publications on the U.S. housing market, real estate brokerage, transactional real estate, mortgage markets, and real estate investment. His recent articles have appeared in Real Estate Economics, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Journal of Housing Economics, Journal of Real Estate Research, Journal of Housing Research, The Appraisal Journal, Journal of Real Estate Practice and Education, Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management, and Journal of Real Estate Law.

Johnson has won several Red Pen Awards for outstanding service and contribution to both the Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management and Journal of Housing Research. He is a past editor of the Journal of Real Estate Practice and Education and is the current editor of the Journal of Housing Research.

Johnson currently serves as the associate dean of graduate programs in FAU’s College of Business. Additionally, he is a president of the American Real Estate Society. Johnson’s main outreach initiatives are the Beracha, Hardin and Johnson Buy vs Rent Index and the Beracha and Johnson Housing Market Ranking Index. Outside of his academic work, Johnson has more than a decade of applied experience in real estate specializing in the marketing of corporate- and lender-owned properties.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Rental Housing

Real Estate Markets


Real Estate

Real Estate Economics

Education (3)

The University of Alabama: Ph.D. 2001

Auburn University Montgomery: M.B.A. 1993

Auburn University: B.S. 1981

Selected Media Appearances (14)

Mortgage rates pushed higher amid investors’ concerns

The Washington Post  


Mortgage rates moved higher this week as worries about inflation and potential moves by the Federal Reserve unsettled investors. According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average climbed to 3 percent with an average 0.6 point. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount. They are in addition to the interest rate.) It was 2.94 percent a week ago and 3.24 percent a year ago. Freddie Mac, the federally chartered mortgage investor, aggregates rates from around 80 lenders across the country to come up with weekly national averages. It uses rates for high-quality borrowers with strong credit scores and large down payments. Because of the criteria, these rates are not available to every borrower.

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High-End Homes Selling Faster As Wealthy Americans Benefit Most From Stock Market Gains, Says Report



Sales of high-end homes soared 26% year-over-year during the three-month period ended April 30, exceeding the 15% increase for mid-priced homes and 17.8% gain for affordable homes, suggesting affluent Americans, flush with cash from the stock market rally are buying up the most desirable properties, real estate brokerage Redfin said on Wednesday.

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Is Dallas-Fort Worth in a home price bubble?

The Dallas Morning News  


Researchers warn of a potential Dallas home price correction as housing costs soar.

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This index shows where you should buy a home, and where you’re better off renting



As the U.S. housing market powers through the coronavirus pandemic, home prices are rising, bidding wars are erupting — and renting is growing more attractive in some booming markets. That’s according to an index released Thursday. Buying in Dallas, Denver, Houston and Kansas City carries significant risk, because of fast-rising home prices and the potential for future declines, according to the latest Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent Index. On the other hand, it makes sense to buy in Chicago, Cleveland and New York City. And the rent-or-buy calculus is “a virtual toss-up” in Boston, Detroit, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and St. Louis, says index co-author Ken H. Johnson, a real estate economist at Florida Atlantic University.

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Why the mortgage refinance window could close in the coming months



The Mortgage Bankers Association’s forecast is a bit more optimistic than others’ outlooks, but not dramatically so. “While I do not think that rates will climb that high that fast, it is realistically possible — and refis will all but cease if rates hit 3.5 percent,” says Ken H. Johnson, a housing economist at Florida Atlantic University.

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Fixed mortgage rates tumble to lowest levels in history

The Washington Post  


Ken Johnson, a real estate economist at Florida Atlantic University, expects long-term rates will move up slightly. “The Fed’s open market activities remain consistent, serving to keep long-term mortgage rates near record lows,” Johnson said. “Is this the week, however, that default risk begins to work its way into long-term mortgage rates?”

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This Once-Crucial Strategy to Selling Your Home May Be the Worst Thing You Can Do Right Now

Apartment Therapy  


“Vacant properties for sale are forming their own submarket,” says Johnson, a former real estate broker who has researched the market for 25 years. “We should not be surprised to see these homes shown more often than occupied properties, go under contract faster and sell at prices close to market value. Other occupied properties are simply in a separate, nearly non-functioning market at this point.”

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Will mortgage rates move up or down in August?

MSN Money  


"While some slight daily variation can be expected, there should be little change in the 30-year fixed mortgage rate in August. The continued demand for 10-year Treasury securities - the anchor for long-term mortgage rates - will serve to keep rates hovering around plus or minus 3 percent," says Ken H. Johnson, real estate economist with Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.

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Miami real estate market overvalued nearly 20%, economist says

FOX Business  


Homes values in Miami-Dade County are 19.2 percent higher than their long-term pricing trends, according to Ken H. Johnson, an economist at Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business. Similarly, home values in Palm Beach County were 18.7 percent overpriced and Broward County homes were 17.4 percent overpriced, Johnson found in an analysis of Federal Housing Finance Agency data.

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House won't sell? Consider moving out



"While some slight daily variation can be expected, there should be little change in the 30-year fixed mortgage rate in August. The continued demand for 10-year Treasury securities - the anchor for long-term mortgage rates - will serve to keep rates hovering around plus or minus 3 percent," says Ken H. Johnson, real estate economist with Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.

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Is the U.S. Hurtling Toward Another Housing Crash?



Ken Johnson, a real estate economist at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL, expects that prices will fall much more along the lines of what many bargain-hunting buyers have been hoping to see. If the economy reopens quickly, prices may decrease only by 5% to 10% nationally, says Johnson. They could be more or less depending on the individual market. But if the crisis and stay-at-home orders go on for another 60 to 90 days, he anticipates prices will plummet up to 50% as there won't be many folks shopping for homes.

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These markets could see the sharpest drop in home prices during coronavirus pandemic



“Uncertainty destroys value,” said Ken Johnson an economist at Florida Atlantic University. “The more uncertainty there is, the more a potential buyer will discount the value of the home.”

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In president Trump's $4.75T proposed budget, housing programs lose big



"Basically, they're reshuffling the cards," says Ken Johnson, a real estate economist at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. “It’s shifting a significant amount of the financial burden from the federal level to the state and local level.”

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Why it might be harder to sell your home in 2019

Consumer Affairs  


"Historical evidence indicates that home prices adjust to these directional pressures," said Ken Johnson, a real estate economist at FAU and one of the creators the index.

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Selected Articles (3)

A Revision of the American Dream of Homeownership

American Real Estate Society

Ken Johnson et al.

2017 It is well accepted that homeowners, on average, have greater total wealth than renters. However, Beracha and Johnson (2012) show that in a strict “horserace” comparison, renting creates higher wealth than ownership in the majority of cases. In this paper, we revisit Beracha and Johnson's buy versus rent model to investigate factors affecting the wealth outcomes of the buy versus rent decision. Three key findings emerge: (1) the difference in wealth between renting and owning can be most affected by choices within the scope of the individual rather than through the impact of exogenous market variables; (2) households that fail to reinvest buy-rent cash flow differentials accumulate less wealth; and (3) property appreciation plays only a minor role in the results.

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Housing Ownership Decision Making in the Framework of Household Portfolio Choice

Journal of Real Eestate Research

Ken Johnson et al.

2017 While it is well documented that homeowners have greater total wealth than renters, it is not clear that homeownership causes this wealth differential. We consider the buy versus rent decision in the framework of household portfolio choice. This allows us to determine whether owning a home increases the utility of households by improving the performance of their portfolio compared with households that rent. We determine that while renting is superior to ownership in isolation, homeownership as a part of the household portfolio often improves wealth creation on a risk-adjusted basis. Our findings suggest significant policy changes that currently favor levered homeownership strategies for households with minimal wealth.

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The Short Sale Stigma

The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics

Ken Johnson and Kimberly R. Goodwin

2017 Despite a recent upturn, housing prices remain in flux in most cities nationwide. Lenders are still left dealing with a glut of distressed properties. They can choose to foreclose on the property or allow the owner/mortgagor to attempt to sell the property for less than the outstanding balance of the mortgage in a short sale agreement. The best way to clear the market of distressed properties is an important policy question. This is the first study to examine not only the price and time on market effect of being a short sale but also whether the short sale process itself creates a market stigma.

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