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Jel Classification:R31 

Journal Article
Long-term outcomes of FHA first-time homebuyers

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which insures mortgages for low- to moderate-income homebuyers, has stated that its goal is to foster sustainable homeownership. This study proposes metrics for evaluating the degree to which the FHA has succeeded in this mission for an important program constituency, first-time homebuyers. The approach uses data from the New York Fed?s Consumer Credit Panel, a data source that makes it possible to observe new mortgage borrowers? long-term outcomes. The findings presented in sample scorecards show, for example, that in the 2001 and 2002 cohorts, 55 ...
Economic Policy Review , Issue 24-3 , Pages 145-165

Report
Negative equity and housing investment

Housing is a depreciating asset. The rate of depreciation depends on the degree to which households engage in housing investments. Housing investment expenditures economy-wide are sizable, averaging 45 percent of the value of new home construction over the past twenty years. The housing bust and recession coincided with a significant decline in housing investment. Using Consumer Expenditure Survey data from 2007 to 2012, we find that negative equity households reduce their housing investments by roughly 75 percent. The large increase in negative equity due to declining housing prices during ...
Staff Reports , Paper 636

Report
Long-term outcomes of FHA first-time homebuyers

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has stated that its goal is to foster sustainable homeownership. In this paper, we propose some metrics for evaluating the degree to which the FHA is attaining this goal for first-time homebuyers. This work uses New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel data to examine the long-term outcome for households that make the transition from renting to owning using an FHA-insured mortgage. In addition to calculating the fraction of these borrowers whose FHA homeownership experience ends in default, we measure the degree to which these borrowers successfully remain ...
Staff Reports , Paper 839

Report
The measurement of rent inflation

Shelter represents a large portion of the typical household budget. Accordingly, rent, paid either to a landlord or to oneself as an owner-occupant, has a large weight in the CPI and the PCE deflator. Nonetheless, the way in which rent inflation is measured is not widely understood. In this paper, we describe how the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates tenant rent and owners? equivalent rent (OER) inflation. We then estimate alternative tenant rent and OER inflation rates based on American Housing Survey (AHS) data, following BLS methodology as closely as possible. Our alternative tenant ...
Staff Reports , Paper 425

Discussion Paper
A Better Measure of First-Time Homebuyers

Much of the concern about affordable homeownership has focused on first-time buyers. These buyers, who are often making the transition from renting to owning, can find it difficult to save to meet down-payment requirements; this is particularly true in those areas where rent takes up a significant portion of a household's monthly income. In contrast to first-time buyers, repeat buyers can typically rely on the equity in their current house to help fund the down payment on a trade-up purchase; they also have an easier time qualifying for a new mortgage if they've successfully made payments on ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20190408

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

Discussion Paper
Did Tax Reform Raise the Cost of Owning a Home?

The 2018 slowdown in the housing market has been a subject of intense interest to the press and policymakers, including articles reporting a slowing in house price growth and a decline in home construction. Today we follow up on our colleagues' research on whether the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) has contributed to a slowdown in the housing market, looking closely at what price signals tell us about the trade-off between owning and renting.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20190417

Report
How mortgage finance affects the urban landscape

This chapter considers the structure of mortgage finance in the U.S., and its role in shaping patterns of homeownership, the nature of the housing stock, and the organization of residential activity. We start by providing some background on the design features of mortgage contracts that distinguish them from other loans, and that have important implications for issues presented in the rest of the chapter. We then explain how mortgage finance interacts with public policy, particularly tax policy, to influence a household?s decision to own or rent, and how shifts in the demand for ...
Staff Reports , Paper 713

Working Paper
The Environmental Cost of Land Use Restrictions

Cities with cleaner power plants and lower energy demand have stricter land use restrictions; these restrictions increase housing prices and disincentivize living in these lower polluting cities. We use a spatial equilibrium model to quantify the effect of land use restrictions on household carbon emissions. Our model features heterogeneous households, cities that vary by power plant technology and the benefits of energy usage, as well as endogenous wages and rents. Relaxing restrictions in California to the national median leads to a 2.3% drop in national carbon emissions. The burden of a ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 20

Working Paper
Of Cities and Slums

The emergence of slums is a common feature in a country's path towards urbanization, structural transformation and development. Based on salient micro and macro evidence of Brazilian labor, housing and education markets, we construct a simple model to examine the conditions for slums to emerge. We then use the model to examine whether slums are barriers or stepping stones for lower skilled households and for the development of the country as a whole. We calibrate our model to explore the dynamic interaction between skill formation, income inequality and structural transformation with the rise ...
Working Papers , Paper 2016-22

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