Rental Housing Spot Markets: How Online Information Exchanges Can Supplement Transacted-Rents Data

23 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2020

See all articles by Geoff Boeing

Geoff Boeing

University of Southern California - Sol Price School of Public Policy

Jake Wegmann

University of Texas at Austin

Junfeng Jiao

University of Texas at Austin - School of Architecture

Date Written: February 4, 2020

Abstract

Traditional US rental housing data sources such as the American Community Survey and the American Housing Survey report on the transacted market — what existing renters pay each month. They do not explicitly tell us about the spot market — i.e., the asking rents that current homeseekers must pay to acquire housing — though they are routinely used as a proxy. This study compares governmental data to millions of contemporaneous rental listings and finds that asking rents diverge substantially from these most recent estimates. Conventional housing data understate current market conditions and affordability challenges, especially in cities with tight and expensive rental markets.

Keywords: affordability, census, craigslist,data exhaust,economic geography,economic mobility, fair market rent, gentrification, vacancy, HUD, information asymmetries, platform real estate, rental data, rent control, residential mobility, section 8

JEL Classification: O18, R21, R31, R00

Suggested Citation

Boeing, Geoff and Wegmann, Jake and Jiao, Junfeng, Rental Housing Spot Markets: How Online Information Exchanges Can Supplement Transacted-Rents Data (February 4, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3532091 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3532091

Geoff Boeing (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Sol Price School of Public Policy ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626
United States

Jake Wegmann

University of Texas at Austin ( email )

2317 Speedway
Austin, TX 78712
United States

Junfeng Jiao

University of Texas at Austin - School of Architecture ( email )

1 University Station B7500
Austin, TX 78712-022
United States

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