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Have pandemic-induced declines in home listings fueled house price growth?
New homes listed for sale fell sharply at the beginning of the pandemic. Anecdotal evidence suggests that fear of COVID made homeowners reluctant to list their homes, driving down new listings. Figure 1 shows that from March to April 2020, as COVID lockdowns went into effect, new listings declined by more than one-third relative to previous years and did not return to normal levels until July 2020.
Desperate House Sellers: Distress Among Developers
Using granular data on home builder housing developments from the 2006-09 housing crisis, I show that builders spread house price shocks across geographically distinct projects via their internal capital markets. Builders who experience losses in one area subsequently sell homes in unaffected areas at a discount to raise cash quickly. Financially constrained firms are more likely to cut prices of homes in healthy areas in response to losses in unhealthy ones. Firms also smooth shocks across projects only during the crisis and not during the boom. These results together suggest firm internal ...