Price dispersion and information search behavior in a second-hand housing market
ZHANG Hong1,2, YU Lutong1,2, LI Linjun1,2, LI Vera3
1. Center for Urbanization and Industrial Development, School of Civil Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China; 2. Hang Lung Center for Real Estate, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China; 3. Department of Accountancy, Hang Seng Management College, Hong Kong 999077, China
Abstract：China's real estate market has entered the age of stock rooms and the second-hand housing market is bound to become more active in this stage. However, information asymmetry has led to large price discrepancies in the second-hand housing market, mainly because the second-hand housing transaction price can vary greatly. According to search theory, price discrepancies will lead to profitable information search behavior. The study of the relationship between the degree of discrepancies in second-hand housing prices and information search behavior has important implications for second-hand housing market information searches, improving the information search efficiency, and promoting the healthy development of the real estate intermediary industry and the second-hand housing market. This study uses information search theory to analyze the relationships among the price dispersion in the second-hand housing market, the number of information searches, and the information search cost, and proposes corresponding hypotheses to be tested. Then, a second-hand housing market is designed based on the key hypothesis for verification. A search experiment explores the relationship between the degree of price dispersion and the information search behavior. Finally, experimental data is used to complete the empirical analysis and test the hypothesis. The results show that increasing the price dispersion of the second-hand housing market will increase the number of buyer information searches. Increasing the number of buyer information searches then reduces the price dispersion in the second-hand housing market. Reducing the information search costs will increase the information for second-hand housing buyers. This research suggests that adjustments to the second-hand housing market should focus on reducing information search costs to stimulate increases in the number of information searches in the market which will reduce the degree of information asymmetry in the second-hand housing market and, thereby, reduce the price discrepancies in the second-hand housing market and lead to a more mature second-hand housing market.
张红, 于璐僮, 李林峻, 李维娜. 二手房价格离散程度与住房信息搜寻行为关系[J]. 清华大学学报（自然科学版）, 2019, 59(11): 880-886.
ZHANG Hong, YU Lutong, LI Linjun, LI Vera. Price dispersion and information search behavior in a second-hand housing market. Journal of Tsinghua University(Science and Technology), 2019, 59(11): 880-886.
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