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The uberisation of housing markets: putting theory into practice

Andrea Sharam (Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia)
Lyndall Bryant (School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, Australia)

Property Management

ISSN: 0263-7472

Article publication date: 18 April 2017




Digital disruption offers an innovative opportunity to address housing affordability issues through the use of market design theory and two-sided matching markets. The purpose of this paper is to scope a model for how “uberisation” can revolutionise the traditional apartment delivery model in Australia, leading to improved housing affordability.


This paper uses semi-structured interviews with operators of online real estate platforms and deliberative developers to examine how the principles of “uberisation”, that is two-sided matching markets, are driving innovation in the apartment supply process.


Findings confirm that real estate internet platforms and deliberative developers innovators are informed by the benefits of aggregating demand to reduce development risk, thus enabling apartments to be provided at a substantially lower price than by traditional methods.

Research limitations/implications

The number of interviews is small reflecting the limited number of market actors currently engaged in the innovations investigated.


This research is innovative as it introduces theoretical understandings gained from market design theory and applies those concepts to disrupt the apartment development process.



Sharam, A. and Bryant, L. (2017), "The uberisation of housing markets: putting theory into practice", Property Management, Vol. 35 No. 2, pp. 202-216.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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