Comments: How Is Digitalization Changing the Ways that People Find and Finance Housing?

Laurie Goodman

It is my pleasure to comment on two very interesting papers. While very different in orientation—with the Boeing, Harten and Sanchez-Moyano (2022) paper addressing the search process and the Perry and Martin (2022) paper addressing mortgage access issues—both papers come to the same basic conclusion. They agree that digitalization has the potential to reduce costs and democratize the process, but that potential has not been achieved. Both papers are particularly critical of marketing algorithms. In this note, I want to provide my observations on the papers, and then discuss the public policy implications of the rapid advances in digitalization.

This paper was presented as part of “Panel 3: How Is Digitalization Transforming How People Find and Finance Housing?” at the symposium Bringing Digitalization Home: How Can Technology Address Housing Challenges?, hosted by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies in March 2022.