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House price fluctuations and residential sorting

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  • Haavio, Markus
  • Kauppi, Heikki

Abstract

Empirical evidence suggests that local jurisdictions are internally more heterogeneous than standard sorting models predict. We develop a dynamic multiregion model, with fluctuating regional house prices, where an owner-occupying household's location choice depends on its current wealth and its current 'match' and involves both consumption and investment considerations. The relative weights of the consumption and investment motives in the location choice determine the equilibrium pattern of residential sorting, with a strong investment (consumption) motive implying sorting according to match (wealth). The model predicts a negative relation between size of house price fluctuations and residential sorting in the match dimension. Also movers should be more sorted than stayers. These predictions are consistent with evidence from US metropolitan areas when income, age and education are used as proxies for the match. Keywords: residential sorting, house prices, incomplete markets, owneroccupation, household mobility JEL classification numbers: D31, D52, R13, R21, R23

Suggested Citation

  • Haavio, Markus & Kauppi, Heikki, 2009. "House price fluctuations and residential sorting," Research Discussion Papers 14/2009, Bank of Finland.
  • Handle: RePEc:bof:bofrdp:2009_014
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    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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