Based on actual spatial needs there would seem to be a case for changing homes more often than how often people move in practice; e.g. to respond to where a new job is located in the area, having partners or kids who then move out, etc.

How does economics look at this? I've been thinking of these angles:

  • Economic transaction costs (taxes, movers, brokers) - but would one want to move regularly even if all these were low?
  • Transaction costs given the specificity of each dwelling situation (hard to assess relative values)?
  • Formation of social capital (neighbours, etc.) in the dwelling process that cannot be transferred to a new dwelling situation?
  • Formation of "mental" capital - the need to learn new habits inside and outside the new dwelling, e.g. routines, commute, etc.
  • $\begingroup$ I suspect that this remains unanswered because your list of angles already covers all the key points. The only addition I could suggest, although arguably it's an aspect of the social capital point, is that families may be reluctant to move when it would mean disruption to their children's education. $\endgroup$ Oct 19, 2021 at 19:28


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