Reference Dependence in the Housing Market
113 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2019 Last revised: 14 May 2020
Date Written: May 13, 2020
We model listing decisions in the housing market, and structurally estimate household preference and constraint parameters using comprehensive Danish data. Sellers optimize expected utility from property sales, subject to down-payment constraints, and internalize the effect of their choices on final sale prices and time-on-the-market. The data exhibit variation in the listing price-gains relationship with "demand concavity;" bunching in the sales distribution; and a rising listing propensity with gains. A new fact is that gains and down-payment constraints have interactive effects on listing prices. We find reference-dependence around the nominal purchase price and modest loss-aversion, but our canonical model cannot fully explain the new facts.
Keywords: housing, mortgages, loss aversion, reference dependence, down-payment constraints
JEL Classification: D03, D12, D14, G02, R21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation