Home buyer personality prediction study is predictably clueless.

It seems inevitable that whenever science, or more accurately, “science”, turns its lofty gaze to real estate if falls flat on its face.


I have before me a study which purports to predict home buyer behavior based on a simple self-administered test.  Are you neurotic?  Agreeable?  Artistic?  Efficient?  Energetic?  Undemanding?  Moody?  Extremely good looking?  Have charisma to burn?  C’mon, folks, fess up.  You know who and what you are.

Friends, people die without knowing who they are.  This really bugs me.  You can probably tell.

The researchers then construct a scientific study, based on respondents’ unerring self-knowledge, that shows “a very solid correlation” (whatever that is) between personality and real estate choices.  Here’s a highlight: “Neurotic people…prefer homeownership over renting.”  Friends, let me be perfectly clear:  experience tells me there’s a “very solid correlation” between well-adjusted behavior and success as a home buyer.  In fact, I’ll leave to other agents the neurotics this study claims are prime home buyer material.

I’ve also noticed a “very solid correlation” between:

  1. extreme naïveté
  2. the belief that all human behavior is irrational except your own
  3. a fondness for addressing economic questions by pouring vats of bad data into the mathematical equivalent of a broken Cuisinart
  4. and a career path in real estate economics

Friends, this is the kind of study that should be posted on Yahoo Real Estate on April Fool’s Day to freak out people who don’t remember what day it is.  Instead, it’ll be published in the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics.

Cancel my subscription.

copyright © John Fyten 2014






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