Structural change in the mortgage market and the propensity to refinance
We hypothesize that the intrinsic benefit required to trigger a refinancing has become smaller due to a combination of technological, regulatory, and structural changes that have made mortgage origination more competitive and more efficient. To test this hypothesis, we estimate an empirical hazard model of loan survival for two subperiods, using a database that allows us to carefully control for homeowners' credit ratings, equity, loan size, and measurable transaction costs. Our findings strongly confirm that credit ratings and home equity have significant effects on the refinancing ...
How Will the New Tax Law Affectt Homeowners in High Tax States? It Depends
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) introduces significant changes to the federal income tax code for individuals and businesses. Several provisions of the new tax law are particularly significant for the owner?occupied housing market. In this blog post, we compare the federal tax liability and the marginal after-tax cost of mortgage interest and property taxes under the old and new tax codes for a wide range of hypothetical recent home buyers in a high tax state. We find that impacts vary substantially along the income/home price distribution.
Is the Recent Tax Reform Playing a Role in the Decline of Home Sales?
From the fourth quarter of 2017 through the third quarter of 2018, the average contract interest rate on new thirty-year fixed rate mortgages rose by roughly 70 basis points�from 3.9 percent to 4.6 percent. During this same period, there was a broad-based slowing in housing market activity with sales of new single-family homes declining by 7.6 percent while sales of existing single-family homes fell by 4.6 percent. Interestingly though, these declines in home sales were larger than in the two previous episodes when mortgage interest rates rose by a comparable amount. This post considers ...
Credit, equity, and mortgage refinancings
Using a unique loan level data set that links individual household credit ratings with property and loan characteristics, the authors test the extent to which homeowners' credit ratings and equity affect the likelihood that mortgage loans will be refinanced as interest rates fall. Their logit model estimates strongly support the importance of both the credit and equity variables. Furthermore, the authors' results suggest that a change in the overall lending environment over the past decade has increased the probability that a homeowner will refinance.
The homeownership gap
After rising for a decade, the U.S. homeownership rate peaked at 69 percent in the third quarter of 2006. Over the next two and a half years, as home prices fell in many parts of the country and the unemployment rate rose sharply, the homeownership rate declined by 1.7 percentage points. An important question is, how much more will this rate decline over the current economic downturn? To address this question, we propose the concept of the "homeownership gap" as a gauge of downward pressure on the homeownership rate. We define the homeownership gap as the difference between the ...
First Impressions Can Be Misleading: Revisions to House Price Changes
An assiduous follower of the national house price charts that the New York Fed maintains on its web page may have noticed that we appear to be rewriting history as we update the charts every month. For example, last month we reported that the median twelve-month house price change across all counties for December 2012 was 3.68 percent. However, this month, we indicate that this same median change for December 2012 was instead 3.45 percent. Why the change? Was the earlier reported number a mistake that we simply corrected this month? If not, what explains the revision to the initial report?
Juvenile delinquent mortgages: bad credit or bad economy?
We study early default, defined as serious delinquency or foreclosure in the first year, among nonprime mortgages from the 2001 to 2007 vintages. After documenting a dramatic rise in such defaults and discussing their correlates, we examine two primary explanations: changes in underwriting standards that took place over this period and changes in the economic environment. We find that while credit standards were important in determining the probability of an early default, changes in the economy after 2004 - especially a sharp reversal in house price appreciation - were the more critical ...
The supply side of the housing boom and bust of the 2000s
The boom and subsequent bust in housing construction and prices over the 2000s is widely regarded as a principal contributor to the Financial Panic of 2007 and the subsequent Great Recession. As of this writing, housing market activity remains at depressed levels as the economy slowly resolves the legacy of excess supply and sharply lower prices. Over 2.6 million foreclosures have been completed since 2008 and 1.9 million foreclosures are in process. Much has been written about the demand side of this pronounced housing cycle, in particular, the innovations in mortgage finance and the ...
After the refinancing boom: will consumers scale back their spending?
Concerns are rising that the recent surge in home equity withdrawal has left consumers in a weakened financial position that will, over time, prompt a retrenchment in spending. However, a look at household assets and liabilities suggests that consumers have used the withdrawn funds to restructure their balance sheets and reduce their debt service burden. As a result, households may be in a better position to spend in the years ahead.
Core CPI: excluding food, energy ... and used cars?
Although used car prices represent only a small portion of the consumer price index, their extreme volatility has had a major impact on the measured inflation rate. To explain this relationship, the authors describe how used cars are treated in the CPI and explore what might cause the wide swings in used car prices.