Second Home Buyers and the Housing Boom and Bust
Abstract: Record-high second home buying (homeowners acquiring nonprimary residences) was a central feature of the 2000s boom, but the macroeconomic effects remain an open question partly because reliable geographic data is currently unavailable. This paper constructs local data on second home buying by merging credit bureau data with mortgage servicing records. The identification strategy exploits the fact that the vacation share of housing from the 2000 Census is predictive of second home origination shares during the boom years, while also uncorrelated with other boom-bust drivers including proxies for local housing expectations, the use of alternative and PLS mortgages, and supply constraints. Localities with plausibly exogenous higher second home origination shares experienced a more pronounced boom and bust - stronger growth in construction and house prices during the boom, and steeper declines in activity during the recession years. Overall, second home buying could exp lain about 30 and 15 percent of the run-up in construction employment and house prices, respectively, over 2000-2006.
Part of Series: Finance and Economics Discussion Series
Publication Date: 2019-05-03