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House prices, sales, and time on the market : a search-theoretic framework


  • Díaz, Antonia
  • Jerez, Belén


We build a search model of the housing market which captures the illiquidity of housing assets. In this model, households experience idiosyncratic shocks over time which affect how much they value their residence (e.g. the location of their job could change). When hit by a shock, households become mismatched and seek to buy a new home. Yet they take time to locate an appropriate housing unit and to sell their current home. Competitive forces are present in the housing market since, by posting lower prices, sellers increase the average number of buyer visits they get and sell their property faster. We characterize a stationary equilibrium for a fixed housing stock. We then calibrate a stochastic version of the model to reproduce selected aggregate statistics of the U.S. economy. The model is consistent with the high volatility of prices, sales and average time on the market, the positive correlation of prices and sales, and the negative correlation of prices and average time on the market observed in the data. This is not the case when we consider the perfectly competitive version of the model

Suggested Citation

  • Díaz, Antonia & Jerez, Belén, 2010. "House prices, sales, and time on the market : a search-theoretic framework," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1033, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1033

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Morris A. Davis, 2010. "housing and the business cycle," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
    2. Genesove, David & Mayer, Christopher J, 1997. "Equity and Time to Sale in the Real Estate Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 255-269, June.
    3. Kenneth Burdett & Shouyong Shi & Randall Wright, 2001. "Pricing and Matching with Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1060-1085, October.
    4. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo & François Ortalo-Magné, 2009. "The Relative Performance of Real Estate Marketing Platforms: MLS versus," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1878-1898, December.
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    7. Merlo, Antonio & Ortalo-Magne, Francois, 2004. "Bargaining over residential real estate: evidence from England," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 192-216, September.
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    10. Wheaton, William C, 1990. "Vacancy, Search, and Prices in a Housing Market Matching Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1270-1292, December.
    11. Jeremy C. Stein, 1995. "Prices and Trading Volume in the Housing Market: A Model with Down-Payment Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 379-406.
    12. Abdullah Yavaş, 1992. "A Simple Search and Bargaining Model of Real Estate Markets," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 20(4), pages 533-548.
    13. Peters, Michael, 1991. "Ex Ante Price Offers in Matching Games Non-steady States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1425-1454, September.
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    20. James Albrecht & Axel Anderson & Eric Smith & Susan Vroman, 2007. "Opportunistic Matching In The Housing Market," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(2), pages 641-664, May.
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    More about this item


    House prices;

    JEL classification:

    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General

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