Residual Seasonality in GDP
With a second year in a row of unusually weak first-quarter growth, some analysts have argued that there may be residual seasonality in the GDP data, that is, a predictable seasonal pattern remains in the published data.
The Interest Rate Elasticity of Mortgage Demand: Evidence From Bunching at the Conforming Loan Limit
The relationship between the mortgage interest rate and a household's demand for mortgage debt has important implications for a host of public policy questions. In this paper, we use detailed data on over 2.7 million mortgages to provide novel estimates of the interest rate elasticity of mortgage demand. Our empirical strategy exploits a discrete jump in interest rates generated by the conforming loan limit--the maximum loan size eligible for securitization by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This discontinuity creates a large ``notch" in the intertemporal budget constraint of prospective mortgage ...
The long and the short of household formation
One of the drivers of housing demand is the rate of new household formation, which has been well below trend in recent years, leading to persistent weakness in the housing market. This paper studies the determinants of household formation in the United States, including demographic and behavioral changes, and how they evolve over the long and short runs. There are three main findings: First, because older adults tend to live in smaller households, the aging of the U.S. population over the past 30 years has reduced the average household size, or equivalently, pushed up the headship rate and ...
Living at Home Ain't Such a Drag (on Spending): Young Adults' Spending In and Out of Their Parents' Home
In this Note, we quantify the net change in annual spending by a young adult who has just moved out of her parents' home.
Another Look at Residual Seasonality in GDP
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real GDP rose at an annual rate of 1.2 percent in the first quarter of this year, a step down from the 2.3 percent pace in the second half of last year. However, we argue in this note that residual seasonality is unlikely to be the primary reason for the slowdown in first-quarter growth this year.
The Effects of Mortgage Credit Availability : Evidence from Minimum Credit Score Lending Rules
Since the housing bust and financial crisis, mortgage lenders have introduced progressively higher minimum thresholds for acceptable credit scores. Using loan-level data, we document the introduction of these thresholds, as well as their effects on the distribution of newly originated mortgages. We then use the timing and nonlinearity of these supply-side changes to credibly identify their short- and medium-run effects on various individual outcomes. Using a large panel of consumer credit data, we show that the credit score thresholds have very large negative effects on borrowing in the short ...
Housing Supply and Affordability: Evidence from Rents, Housing Consumption and Household Location
We examine how housing supply constraints affect housing affordability, which we define as the quality-adjusted price of housing services. In our dynamic model, supply constraints increase the price of housing services by only half has much as the purchase price of a home, since the purchase price responds to expected future increases in rent as well as contemporaneous rent increases. Households respond to changes in the price of housing services by altering their housing consumption and location choices, but only by a small amount. We evaluate these predictions using common measures of ...
An Early Evaluation of the Effects of the Pandemic on Living Arrangements and Household Formation
As with many other aspects of life—including the record-setting decline in employment—the COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected the living arrangements of millions of Americans. In this note, we document a fact that has as yet received little attention:
Supply constraints and housing market dynamics
Although the volatility of house prices is often ascribed to demand-side factors, constraints on housing supply have important and little-studied implications for housing dynamics. I illustrate the strong relationship in city-level data between the volatility of house prices and the regulation of new housing supply. I then employ a dynamic structural model of housing investment to estimate the effect of supply constraints on both the level of new construction and the responsiveness of investment to house prices. I find that supply constraints increase volatility through two channels: First, ...
Where Are The Construction Workers?
The labor market for construction workers suffered a massive shock in the wake of the housing bust, as demand for new homes dried up and firms rapidly shed workers.