The Market Demand Characteristics Associated with Real Estate Services: Some Evidence from a Panel Data Set of MSAs
No study to date has empirically explored the characteristics associated with the market demand for real estate services. This study uses microeconomic theory and a panel data set of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the United States to uncover elasticity estimates of the market demand for real estate services with respect to own price, income, business cycle fluctuations, and other variables. The empirical findings yield a number of important insights regarding the market demand characteristics associated with real estate services. First, own-price elasticity equals roughly −1.20, suggesting an elastic demand for real estate services exists at the market level. Second, the income elasticity is found to be approximately 0.40, indicating that real estate services represent a normal good. Third, business cycle fluctuations, as represented by changes in the unemployment rate, are shown to influence the real estate services market but not to a significant extent. Finally, crime rates are shown to have no independent impact on the demand for real estate services despite earlier studies finding that crime reduces housing values and sales.
KeywordsDemand for real estate services Price and income elasticities of demand for real estate services Effect of unemployment on the real estate economy Crime and the real estate economy
Santerre thanks the Center for Real Estate and Urban Economic Studies at UConn for providing summer support. Both authors thank Melanie Carrales and Callan Swenson of the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Roberto Morales of the Bureau of Labor Statistics for helping us locate the necessary metropolitan data. Finally, we thank the anonymous referee of this journal for the helpful comments provided.
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