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Competition and market structure in local real estate markets

  • Beck, Jason
  • Scott, Frank
  • Yelowitz, Aaron

The persistence of the standard six percent real estate sales commission across markets and over time calls into question the competitiveness of the residential real estate brokerage industry. While there is anecdotal evidence that some local real estate markets are fairly concentrated, no systematic study of market structures has been conducted. We have collected primary data on the number and market shares of real estate brokers in a variety of small, medium, and large real estate markets across the U.S. for 2007 and 2009. In addition to these cross sectional data, we have also collected longitudinal data on the size distribution of firms for Louisville, KY for a nine-year period. In our cross-sectional analysis of medium and large markets, we find no evidence that market concentration might create problems for competition. We do find that small markets on average have higher HHI’s than medium and large markets. The longitudinal analysis reveals that many small brokers are in and out of the market, selling a house or two one year and selling zero houses the next year.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 27531.

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Date of creation: 15 Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:27531
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  1. Anderson, Randy I & Lewis, Danielle & Zumpano, Leonard V, 2000. "Residential Real Estate Brokerage Efficiency from a Cost and Profit Perspective," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 295-310, May.
  2. Brown, Jeffrey, 2000. "Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive? Evidence from the Life Insurance Industry," Working Paper Series rwp00-007, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. repec:reg:rpubli:102 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Leonard V. Zumpano & Harold W. Elder, 1994. "Economies of Scope and Density in the Market for Real Estate Brokerage Services," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 22(3), pages 497-513.
  5. B. Douglas Bernheim & Jonathan Meer, 2008. "Do Real Estate Brokers Add Value When Listing Services Are Unbundled?," NBER Working Papers 13796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Natalya Delcoure & Norm G. Miller, 2002. "International Residential Real Estate Brokerage Fees and Implications for the US Brokerage Industry," International Real Estate Review, Asian Real Estate Society, vol. 5(1), pages 12-39.
  7. Fred A. Forgey & Walter E. Mullendore & Ronald C. Rutherford, 1997. "Market Structure in the Residential Real Estate Brokerage Market," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 14(2), pages 107-116.
  8. Michael Carney, 1982. "Costs and Pricing of Home Brokerage Services," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 10(3), pages 331-354.
  9. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Can Free Entry Be Inefficient? Fixed Commissions and Social Waste in the Real Estate Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 1076-1122, October.
  10. Peter F. Colwell & David W. Marshall, 1986. "Market Share in the Real Estate Brokerage Industry," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 14(4), pages 583-599.
  11. Zumpano, Leonard V & Elder, Harold W & Crellin, Glenn E, 1993. "The Market for Residential Real Estate Brokerage Services: Costs of Production and Economies of Scale," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 237-50, May.
  12. Lawrence J. White, 2006. "The Residential Real Estate Brokerage Industry: What Would More Vigorous Competition Look Like?," Working Papers 06-06, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
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