Industry News

Real estate speculation meets cyberspace

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INREEX, the International Real Estate Exchange, allows investors to buy contracts based on their expectations for real estate prices. The exchange, which is based on House Price Index data published by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprises Oversight, allows users to purchase contracts that represent the average home price in a particular state or the country as a whole. Contracts are traded at 100th the price of the index, so that a median home price of $300,000 would be trading at $3 per contract, for example. HPI data is released every three months, and contracts are traded freely until the day that the data is released. Users of the system would buy a contract if they expect HPI data will rise, and can sell or short a contract if they expect HPI data to fall in a given market. There are other exchanges that allow real estate price speculation, too. The CBOE Futures Exchange, a subsidiary of the Chicago Board Options Exchange Inc., for example, this month announced plans to lau...