This study, "Booms and Busts in Housing Markets", from the European Central Bank (July 2009) provides an interesting look at housing cycles abroad. Specifically, it looks at long term trends in 18 countries from 1980-2007. Like most academic papers, it doesn't provide any earth-shattering analysis. But it does provide an interesting framework with which to understanding housing cycles, as well as a whole lot of proof of things that you probably already knew (e.g., interest rate policies affect housing booms).
Here is the most interesting graphic, and here is the full 50 page report.