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Jel Classification:R31 

Working Paper
First-Time Homebuyers: Toward a New Measure

Existing data sources show divergent estimates of the number of homes purchased by first-time homebuyers as a share of all home purchases. In this paper, we use a new data set to construct a time series of the share of first-time homebuyers. This series, based on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Equifax Consumer Credit Panel (CCP), shows a significant decline in this share, particularly for young households, which is consistent with the decline in homeownership in this age cohort since the early 2000s.
Working Papers , Paper 17-36

Working Paper
Metro Business Cycles

We construct monthly economic activity indices for the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) beginning in 1990. Each index is derived from a dynamic factor model based on twelve underlying variables capturing various aspects of metro area economic activity. To accommodate mixed-frequency data and differences in data-publication lags, we estimate the dynamic factor model using a maximum- likelihood approach that allows for arbitrary patterns of missing data. Our indices highlight important similarities and differences in business cycles across MSAs. While a number of MSAs ...
Working Papers , Paper 2014-46

Working Paper
End of the Line: Behavior of HELOC Borrowers Facing Payment Changes

An important question in the household finance literature is whether a change in required debt payments affects borrower behavior. One challenge in this literature has been identifying whether higher default rates observed after an increase in debt payments stem from the inability of borrowers to pay the higher amount, or the attrition of better borrowers in advance of the payment change. A related question is whether the higher default rate is a result of specific features of the debt product, or the type of borrower who chooses the product. We address both of these questions as they relate ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-73

Working Paper
Can More Housing Supply Solve the Affordability Crisis? Evidence from a Neighborhood Choice Model

We estimate a neighborhood choice model using 2014 American Community Survey data to investigate the degree to which new housing supply can improve housing affordability. In the model, equilibrium rental rates are determined so that the number of households choosing each neighborhood is equal to the number of housing units in each neighborhood. We use the estimated model to simulate how rental rates would respond to an exogenous increase in the number of housing units in a neighborhood. We find that the rent elasticity is low, and thus marginal reductions in supply constraints alone are ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-035

Working Paper
The great housing boom of China

China's housing prices have been growing nearly twice as fast as national income in the past decade despite (1) a phenomenal rate of return to capital and (2) an alarmingly high vacancy rate. This paper interprets such a prolonged paradoxical housing boom as a rational bubble that emerges naturally from China's large-scale economic transition, featuring an exceptionally high rate of return to capital driven by massive resource reallocation. Because such primarily resource-reallocation-driven high capital returns are not sustainable in the long run, expectations of high future demand for ...
FRB Atlanta CQER Working Paper , Paper 2015-3

Working Paper
Capitalization as a Two-Part Tariff: The Role of Zoning

This paper shows that the capitalization of local amenities is effectively priced into land via a two-part pricing formula: a ticket" price paid regardless of the amount of housing service consumed and a slope" price paid per unit of services. We first show theoretically how tickets arise as an extensi ve margin price when there are binding constraints on the number of households admitted to a neighborhood. We use a large national dataset of housing transactions, property characte ristics, and neighbor- hood attributes to measure the extent to which local amenities are capitalized in ticket ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-20

Discussion Paper
Who’s on First? Characteristics of First-Time Homebuyers

In our previous post, we presented a new measure of first-time homebuyers. In this post, we use this improved measure to describe the characteristics of first-time buyers and how those characteristics change over time. Having an accurate assessment of first-time buyers is important given that the aim of many housing policies is to support the transition from renting to owning. A proper assessment of these housing policies requires an understanding of the impact of these policies on the share of first-time buyers and the characteristics of these buyers. Our third post will directly examine ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20190410

Working Paper
Technological innovation in mortgage underwriting and the growth in credit, 1985–2015

The application of information technology to finance, or ?fintech,? is expected to revolutionize many aspects of borrowing and lending in the future, but technology has been reshaping consumer and mortgage lending for many years. During the 1990s, computerization allowed mortgage lenders to reduce loan-processing times and largely replace human-based assessments of credit risk with default predictions generated by sophisticated empirical models. Debt-to-income ratios at origination add little to the predictive power of these models, so the new automated underwriting systems allowed higher ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-11

Working Paper
National and Regional Housing Vacancy: Insights Using Markov-switching Models

We examine homeowner vacancy rates over time and space using Markov-switching models. Our theoretical analysis extends the Wheaton (1990) search and matching model for housing by incorporating regime-switching behavior and interregional spillovers. Our approach is strongly supported by our empirical results. Estimations, using constant-only as well as Vector Autoregressions, allow us to examine differences in vacancy rates as well as explore the possibility of asymmetries within and across housing markets, depending on the state/regime (e.g., low or high vacancy) of a given housing market. ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-7

Working Paper
Credit Score Doctors

We study how the existence of cutoffs in credit scores affects the behavior of homebuyers. Borrowers are more likely to purchase houses after their credit scores cross over a cutoff to qualify them for a higher credit score bin. However, the credit accounts of these individuals (crossover group) are more likely to become delinquent within four years following home purchases than the accounts of those who had stayed in the same bin (non-crossover group). The effect is not only concentrated in subprime bins, but in other bins as well. It is neither limited to pre-crisis period nor curtailed by ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP 2020-07

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