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A Housing Market Matching Model of the Seasonality in Geographic Mobility

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Abstract

Geographic mobility is highly seasonal. Moves are twice as likely to occur during the summer months as during the winter months. Summer marriages and school calendars contribute to the seasonality in mobility. But most people who move are neither newlyweds nor parents of school-age children. Using data from the American Housing Survey, the author shows that the summer peaking of moves is universal: The seasonality is similar for all life cycle stages, for all reasons for moving, in all regions of the country and climate zones, and for both home buyers and renters. The author also presents evidence that the seasonality has been stable over the past quarter century. The second part of the paper offers an explanation for this shared seasonality: While newlyweds and parents of school-age children have specific reasons for moving in the summer, other movers with no particular demographic motivation for moving during the summer nonetheless find it economically advantageous to move when everyone else is moving. These movers are motivated by the greater selection of units available and consequently the better chance of an optimal match, and by the lower search costs of finding a good match. Housing suppliers accommodate this peaking in order to shorten their marketing periods and to secure higher prices from consumers who will pay a premium for housing that closely matches their needs.

Suggested Citation

  • John L. Goodman, Jr., 1993. "A Housing Market Matching Model of the Seasonality in Geographic Mobility," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 8(1), pages 117-138.
  • Handle: RePEc:jre:issued:v:8:n:1:1993:p:117-138
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Colin Read, 1988. "Price Strategies for Idiosyncratic Goods-The Case of Housing," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 16(4), pages 379-395.
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    Cited by:

    1. L. Rachel Ngai & Silvana Tenreyro, 2014. "Hot and Cold Seasons in the Housing Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(12), pages 3991-4026, December.
    2. Selcuk, Cemil, 2012. "Seasonal cycles in the housing market," MPRA Paper 36225, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L85 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Real Estate Services

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