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The decision to move house and aggregate housing-market dynamics


  • Ngai, L. Rachel
  • Sheedy, Kevin D.


Using data on house sales and inventories, this paper shows that housing transactions are driven mainly by listings and less so by transaction speed, thus the decision to move house is key to understanding the housing market. The paper builds a model where moving house is essentially an investment in match quality, implying that moving depends on macroeconomic developments and housing-market conditions. The number of transactions has implications for welfare because each transaction reduces mismatch for homeowners. The quantitative importance of the decision to move house is shown in understanding the U.S. housing-market boom during 1995–2003.

Suggested Citation

  • Ngai, L. Rachel & Sheedy, Kevin D., 2020. "The decision to move house and aggregate housing-market dynamics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 100890, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:100890

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    Cited by:

    1. Ngai, Liwa Rachel & Sheedy, Kevin, 2020. "The Ins and Outs of Selling Houses: Understanding Housing Market Volatility," CEPR Discussion Papers 14331, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Antonia Díaz & Belén Jerez & Juan Pablo Rincón-Zapatero, 2024. "Housing Prices and Credit Constraints in Competitive Search," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 134(657), pages 220-270.
    3. DeFusco, Anthony A. & Nathanson, Charles G. & Zwick, Eric, 2022. "Speculative dynamics of prices and volume," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 205-229.
    4. Michele Loberto & Andrea Luciani & Marco Pangallo, 2022. "What Do Online Listings Tell Us about the Housing Market?," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 18(4), pages 1-52, October.
    5. Miroslav Gabrovski & Victor Ortego-Marti, 2021. "On the Slope of the Beveridge Curve in the Housing Market," Working Papers 202105, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    6. Charles Ka Yui LEUNG, 2022. "Housing and Macroeconomics," ISER Discussion Paper 1197, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    7. Gabrovski, Miroslav & Ortego-Marti, Victor, 2021. "Search and credit frictions in the housing market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
    8. Allen Head & Huw Lloyd‐Ellis & Derek Stacey, 2023. "Heterogeneity, Frictional Assignment, And Home‐Ownership," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 64(3), pages 1265-1308, August.
    9. Rangan Gupta & Damien Moodley, 2023. "Housing Search Activity and Quantiles-Based Predictability of Housing Price Movements in the United States," Working Papers 202335, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    10. Margaret Jacobson, 2019. "Beliefs, Aggregate Risk, and the U.S. Housing Boom," 2019 Meeting Papers 1549, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Bø, Erlend Eide, 2018. "Housing match quality and demand: What can we learn from comparing buyer characteristics?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 184-199.
    12. Head, Allen & Sun, Hongfei & Zhou, Chenggang, 2023. "Indebted sellers, liquidity and mortgage standards," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 151(C).
    13. Anenberg, Elliot & Ringo, Daniel, 2024. "Volatility in Home Sales and Prices: Supply or Demand?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
    14. Miroslav Gabrovski & Victor Ortego-Marti, 2022. "Home Construction Financing and Search Frictions in the Housing Market," Working Papers 202217, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics.
    15. Miroslav Gabrovski & Victor Ortego-Marti, 2021. "On the Positive Slope of the Beveridge Curve in the Housing Market," Working Papers 202113, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    housing market; search and matching; endogenous moving; match quality investment; mismatch;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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