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Endogenous Sources of Volatility in Housing Markets: The Joint Buyer-Seller Problem

  • Elliot Anenberg
  • Patrick Bayer

This paper presents new empirical evidence that internal movement - selling one home and buying another - by existing homeowners within a metropolitan housing market is especially volatile and the main driver of fluctuations in transaction volume over the housing market cycle. We develop a dynamic search equilibrium model that shows that the strong pro-cyclicality of internal movement is driven by the cost of simultaneously holding two homes, which varies endogenously over the cycle. We estimate the model using data on prices, volume, time-on-market, and internal moves drawn from Los Angeles from 1988-2008 and use the fitted model to show that frictions related to the joint buyer-seller problem: (i) substantially amplify booms and busts in the housing market, (ii) create counter-cyclical build-ups of mismatch of existing owners with their homes, and (iii) generate externalities that induce significant welfare loss and excess price volatility.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18980.

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Date of creation: Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18980
Note: EFG PE
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  1. Antonia Díaz & Belén Jerez, 2013. "House Prices, Sales, And Time On The Market: A Search‐Theoretic Framework," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54, pages 837-872, 08.
  2. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2008. "Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-029, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  3. John Y. Campbell & Stefano Giglio & Parag Pathak, 2011. "Forced Sales and House Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2108-31, August.
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  7. Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2011. "Negative Equity Does Not Reduce Homeowners' Mobility," NBER Working Papers 16701, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Donghoon Lee & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2005. "Accounting for Wage and Employment Changes in the U. S. from 1968-2000: A Dynamic Model of Labor Market Equilibrium," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-005, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 02 Jan 2006.
  11. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko & Raven E. Saks, 2005. "Why Have Housing Prices Gone Up?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 329-333, May.
  12. Genesove, David & Mayer, Christopher, 2001. "Loss Aversion and Seller Behaviour: Evidence from the Housing Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 2813, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Steven D. Levitt & Chad Syverson, 2008. "Market Distortions When Agents Are Better Informed: The Value of Information in Real Estate Transactions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 599-611, November.
  14. Robert J. Shiller, 1991. "Arithmetic Repeat Sales Price Estimators," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 971, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  15. Raven Molloy & Hui Shan, 2011. "The post-foreclosure experience of U.S. households," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-32, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Genesove, David & Han, Lu, 2010. "Search and Matching in the Housing Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 7777, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Paul E. Carrillo, 2012. "An Empirical Stationary Equilibrium Search Model Of The Housing Market," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(1), pages 203-234, 02.
  18. Engelhardt, Gary V., 2003. "Nominal loss aversion, housing equity constraints, and household mobility: evidence from the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 171-195, January.
  19. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2011. "House Prices, Home Equity-Based Borrowing, and the US Household Leverage Crisis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2132-56, August.
  20. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09j003nctkn is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Allen Head & Huw Lloyd-Ellis & Hongfei Sun, 2014. "Search, Liquidity, and the Dynamics of House Prices and Construction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(4), pages 1172-1210, April.
  22. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
  23. Krainer, John, 2001. "A Theory of Liquidity in Residential Real Estate Markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 32-53, January.
  24. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2011. "Trading Frictions and House Price Dynamics," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 283-303, October.
  25. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  26. 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, 05.
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