Housing markets and demographics
Fifteen years ago, like today, there were concerns that house prices might collapse. One big difference between then and now, however, is the basis for those concerns. Today, people are worried that a house price bubble (if one exists) might burst, while 15 years ago, people were worried about demographic effects, specifically, the inevitable aging of the baby boomers. ; The earlier concern was sparked by a paper by Mankiw and Weil (1989), in which the authors famously predicted that between 1987 and 2007, real house prices could fall by 3% per year. In fact, real house prices grew by an ...
Mortgage choice and the pricing of fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages
In the United States throughout 2009, the share of adjustable-rate mortgages among total mortgage originations was very low, apparently reflecting the attractive pricing of fixed-rate mortgages relative to ARMs. Government policy could have changed the relative attractiveness of the fixed-rate mortgages and ARMs, thereby shifting the market share of these two housing finance instruments. ; This Economic Letter reviews some of the factors determining consumer mortgage choices. It shows that ARM share has declined in ways that parallel the behavior of several key mortgage market interest rates. ...
Safe Collateral, Arm’s-Length Credit: Evidence from the Commercial Real Estate Market
There are two main creditors in commercial real estate: arm?s-length investors and banks. We model commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) as the less informed source of credit. In equilibrium, these investors fund properties with a low probability of distress and banks fund properties that may require renegotiation. We test the model using the 2007-2009 collapse of the CMBS market as a natural experiment, when banks funded both collateral types. Our results show that properties likely to have been securitized were less likely to default or be renegotiated, consistent with the model. ...
Credit access following a mortgage default
Borrowers who default on mortgages return to the mortgage market at extremely slow rates. Only about 10% of borrowers with a prior serious delinquency regain access to the mortgage market within 10 years of their default. Borrowers who terminate mortgages for reasons other than default return to the market about two-and-a-half times faster than those who default. Renewed access to credit takes even longer for subprime borrowers with a serious delinquency on their record.
House price dynamics and the business cycle
Prepayment and delinquency in the mortgage crisis period
We study the interaction of borrower mortgage prepayment and mortgage delinquency during the period between 2001 and 2010. We show that when house prices flattened and began their subsequent decline, borrowers had increasingly slow prepayments and that this decline in prepayment rates roughly coincided with the sharp increase in their delinquency rates. Low credit score borrowers, in particular, display a pronounced negative correlation between default rates and prepayment rates. Shortfalls of actual prepayment rates from predicted rates based on an estimated prepayment model suggest that, in ...
The Credit Line Channel
Aggregate bank lending to ﬁrms expands following adverse macroeconomic shocks, such as the outbreak of COVID-19 or a monetary policy tightening, at odds with canonical models. Using loan-level supervisory data, we show that these dynamics are driven by draws on credit lines by large ﬁrms. Banks that experience larger drawdowns restrict term lending more — an externality onto smaller ﬁrms. Using a structural model, we show that credit lines are necessary to reproduce the ﬂow of credit toward less constrained ﬁrms after adverse shocks. While credit lines increase total credit ...
Real estate liquidity
Residential real estate markets often go through "hot" and "cold" periods. A hot market is one where prices are rising, liquidity is good in that average selling times are short, and the volume of transactions is higher than the norm. Cold markets have just the opposite characteristics - prices are falling, liquidity is poor, and volume is low. In this paper I show how liquidity depends on the value of the housing service flow, which in turn reflects the aggregate state of the economy. I use data from the San Francisco Bay Area to investigate the relationship between marketing times ...
Tech stocks and house prices in California
House prices and fundamental value
This Economic Letter describes one of the measures commonly used to gauge the fundamental value of housing?the price-rent ratio. We describe the kinds of forces that cause the ratio to move over time and document which forces appear to be most important. We document the way that the housing market typically adjusts to changes in economic fundamentals.