Rhetoric in the language of real estate marketing

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Pryce, G. ; Oates, S. (2008)

“Des. Res.”, “rarely available”, “viewing essential” – these are all part of the peculiar parlance of housing advertisements which contain a heady mix of euphemism, hyperbole and superlative. Of interest is whether the selling agent’s penchant for rhetoric is spatially uniform or whether there are variations across the urban system. We are also interested in how the use of superlatives varies over the market cycle and over the selling season. For example, are estate agents more inclined to use hyperbole when the market is buoyant or when it is flat, and does it matter whether a house is marketed in the summer or winter? This paper attempts to answer these questions by applying textual analysis to a unique dataset of 49,926 records of real estate transactions in the Strathclyde conurbation over the period 1999 to 2006. The analysis opens up a new avenue of research into the use of real estate rhetoric and its interaction with agency behaviour and market dynamics.
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