Housing market search behaviour

Principal Investigator:

Alasdair Rae


June 2014 - February 2015

This project focuses on how the housing market is shaped by consumer search behaviour in the UK and how this might affect prices, sales, volume, demand and- ultimately - impact upon wider macroeconomic volatility.

The principal project aim is to more fully understand the links between housing market search behaviour and three separate and related research questions:

  1. What is the relationship between search intensity/pressure and price formation in the housing market?
  2. What is the relationship between search and sales volumes in the housing market?
  3. What is the relationship between search and actual demand in the housing market (and what are the implications for market behaviour)?

The answers to these questions, and the links between them, could play an important role in helping us to understand how initial search queries from consumers translate into stability or volatility in the housing market. The links between housing search and subsequent market indicators are, to date, still not well understood (e.g. Maclennan and O'Sullivan, 2012) so this research, in part, seeks to clarify the connections based on a new data source.


The Bank of England