Fear and Loathing in the Housing Market: Evidence from Search Query Data

Marcelle Chauvet, Stuart Gabriel, Chandler Lutz

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


We use Google search data to develop a broad-based and real-time index of
housing distress. Unlike established indicators, this new Housing Distress Index
(HDI) directly reflects sentiment revealed through search queries. Research findings
indicate that the HDI provides important new insights in the determination of
subprime mortgage credit-default swaps, the VIX, foreclosures, and national or
city-specific housing returns. Further, the effects of housing distress on returns
are asymmetric and stronger during times of crisis. Overall, results suggest that
real estate and related markets are highly sensitive to vulnerabilities in household
finances as captured by our measure of housing distress.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Number of pages49
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventThe 49th AREUEA-ASSA Conference 2014 - Philadelphia, PA, United States
Duration: 3 Jan 20145 Jan 2014
Conference number: 49


ConferenceThe 49th AREUEA-ASSA Conference 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPhiladelphia, PA
OtherIncl. joint sessions with the American Economic Association (AEA) and with the American Finance Association (AFA)
Internet address

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