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Flipping the Housing Market
We add arbitraging middlemen -- investors who attempt to profit from buying low and selling high -- to a canonical housing market search model. Flipping tends to take place in sluggish and tight, but not in moderate, markets. There is the possibility of multiple equilibria. In one equilibrium, most, if not all, transactions are intermediated, resulting in rapid turnover, a high vacancy rate, and high housing prices. In another equilibrium, few houses are bought and sold by middlemen. Turnover is slow, few houses are vacant, and prices are moderate. Moreover, flippers can enter and exit en ...