Trajectories of Individual Behavior in the US Housing Market

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Virginia Tech

Three essays in this dissertation explore the behavior of individuals in response to the housing crisis and its consequences, and the impact of the pandemic on the short-term rental markets. The first essay examines the economic outcomes of young people who have returned to their parents' home, using data from 2003-2017 waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 Cohort (NLSY 97). The economic outcomes of boomerang movers did not improve compared to the period of independent living, and the income gap with young people who remained independent widened. The residential movement of young people who make boomerang moves has an impact on their income, but this effect is short-lived. Going back to a parental house changes the region and urban form significantly, and movement of urban form from the central city to the suburban and from the suburban to out of the MSA has a negative impact on income. Findings from the study suggest implications. First, more affordable housing should be provided to reduce boomerang moves. Second, ways to increase job opportunities should be explored to reduce the short-term negative impact of boomerang move. Finally, education and vocational training opportunities must be increased to close the income gap among young people. The second essay seeks to answer the following questions through the experiences of individual households due to the foreclosure. First, did foreclosed households regain homeownership? Second, is there a relationship between socio-demographic characteristics of foreclosed household and regaining homeownership? Third, where do homeowners who have lost their homes migrate? Finally, what characteristics of the neighborhood help foreclosed households recover? While previous studies have focused on the resilience of housing markets and regions, this study explores the link between regional characteristics and individual household recovery. The recovery of financially disadvantaged households is an important issue for communities and states. Identifying the mechanism that is responsible for household recovery has implications for implementing programs to aid household recovery. This study primarily relies on the 2005 -2019 Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). Since 2009, PSID has added survey questions about foreclosure; Whether a foreclosure process has begun, the year and month of the start, the result of the process, and whether a foreclosed home is a primary residence. The findings of this study suggest that the government's recovery assistance program should aim to support relocation to areas with lower poverty rates and higher job and educational opportunities. The final essay explores changes in short-term rentals resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. To identify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this study uses New York City's Airbnb listing data from Inside Airbnb (IA), as well as supplemental data such as American Community Survey (ACS) data. Change in the number of STRs is divided into (1) the number of units left the platform and (2) the number of new units. The former relates to the survival of existing STR units and, the latter to the location choice of new units. The results show that the impact of several variables on survival and generation mechanisms changed since the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the survival mechanism and the generation mechanism of short-term rentals are different, they should be considered separately in regulating the STR to stabilize local housing markets.

affordable housing, living arrangements, boomeranging, economic outcomes, young adults, foreclosure, homeownership, panel data, short-term rentals, Airbnb, survival analysis, COVID-19 pandemic, housing market resilience