Real Estate Bubbles and Urban Development. Edward Glaeser, December 2016, Paper, “Why are real estate bubbles so common? Can these bubbles actually do some good? Real estate booms have regularly occurred throughout the world leaving painful busts and financial crises in their wake. This paper suggests that real estate is a natural investment for more passive debt investors, including banks, because real estate’s flexibility makes it better collateral than specifically built production facilities. Passive capital’s preference for real estate will be particularly strong when agency problems bedevil equity investments. Consequently, passive capital may flow disproportionately into real estate and the errors of passive capital can generate real estate bubbles.Link