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Jel Classification:R38 

Working Paper
Neighborhood Choices, Neighborhood Effects and Housing Vouchers

We study how households choose neighborhoods, how neighborhoods affect child ability, and how housing vouchers influence neighborhood choices and child outcomes. We use two new panel data sets with tract-level detail for Los Angeles county to estimate a dynamic model of optimal tract-level location choice for renting households and, separately, the impact of living in a given tract on child test scores (which we call ?child ability" throughout). We simulate optimal location choices and changes in child ability of the poorest households in our sample under various housing-voucher policies. We ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2017-2

Working Paper
Land-Use Regulations, Property Values, and Rents: Decomposing the Effects of the California Coastal Act

REVISED MARCH 2018 Land-use regulations can lower real estate prices by imposing costs on property owners, but may raise prices by restricting supply and generating amenities. We study the effects of the California Coastal Act, one of the nation?s most stringent land-use regulations, on prices and rents for multifamily housing units. The Coastal Act applies to a narrow section of the California coast, allowing us to compare properties on either side of the jurisdictional boundary. The Coastal Act offers several advantages for measuring the effects of land-use regulations, including plausible ...
Working Papers , Paper 17-33

Discussion Paper
Rental Housing Affordability in the Southeast: Data from the Sixth District

Housing data are available for most large metropolitan regions in the Atlanta Fed's Southeast region. However, many midsized metropolitan, micropolitan, and nonmetro areas lack detailed data on rental housing affordability and housing supply needs by income level. These data are important for state and local governments, affordable housing developers, and housing advocates to inform housing policy. Therefore, the Atlanta Fed partnered with the Shimberg Center at the University of Florida to analyze census data using a methodology developed for Shimberg's periodic Rental Market Study for the ...
FRB Atlanta Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper , Paper 2018-2

Working Paper
Financing Affordable and Sustainable Homeownership with Fixed-COFI Mortgages

The 30-year fixed-rate fully amortizing mortgage (or ?traditional fixed-rate mortgage?) was a substantial innovation when first developed during the Great Depression. However, it has three major flaws. First, because homeowner equity accumulates slowly during the first decade, homeowners are essentially renting their homes from lenders. With this sluggish equity accumulation, many lenders require large down payments. Second, in each monthly mortgage payment, homeowners substantially compensate capital markets investors for the ability to prepay. The homeowners might have better uses for this ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-009

Working Paper
The impact of the home valuation code of conduct on appraisal and mortgage outcomes

Supersedes Working Paper 14-23. The accuracy of appraisals came into scrutiny during the housing crisis, and a set of policies and regulations was adopted to address the conflict-of-interest issues in the appraisal practices. In response to an investigation by the New York State Attorney General?s office, the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) was agreed to by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Using unique data sets that contain both approved and nonapproved mortgage applications, this study provides an empirical examination of the impact of the HVCC on ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-28

Working Paper
The impact of the home valuation code of conduct on appraisal and mortgage outcomes

Superseded by Working Paper 15-28. During the housing crisis, it came to be recognized that inflated home mortgage appraisals were widespread during the subprime boom. The New York State Attorney General?s office investigated this issue with respect to one particular lender and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The investigation resulted in an agreement between the Attorney General?s office, the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (the GSEs? federal regulator) in 2008, in which the GSEs agreed to adopt the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC). Using ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-23

Working Paper
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 ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-044

Working Paper
An agency problem in the MBS market and the solicited refinancing channel of large-scale asset purchases

In this paper, we document that mortgage-backed securities (MBS) held by the Federal Reserve exhibit faster principal prepayment rates than MBS held by the rest of the market. Next, we show that this stylized fact persists even when controlling for factors that affect prepayment behavior, and thus determine the MBS that are delivered to the Federal Reserve. After ruling out several potential explanations for this result, we provide evidence that points to an agency problem in the secondary market for MBS, which has not previously been documented, as the most likely explanation for the ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-27

Journal Article
Trends in home purchase lending: consolidation and the Community Reinvestment Act

Consolidation among banking institutions has substantially changed the structure of the banking industry. Between 1975 and 1997, the number of commercial banks and savings associations declined more than 40 percent. Over the same broad period, the market for home mortgage lending has also changed substantially. Notably, home mortgage lending is no longer primarily the province of banking institutions operating in the communities in which they have banking offices. In recent decades, mortgage and finance companies and banking organizations operating outside their local communities have gained ...
Federal Reserve Bulletin , Volume 85 , Issue Feb

Working Paper
What determines the level of local business property taxes?

Conventional economic theory intuitively holds that local business property taxes, which account for over one-third of the state and local taxes that firms pay, should be efficiently structured in order to recover the exact cost of providing public services to these firms. However, this conceptual thinking does not accord with observed geographic and over-time variation in business taxation. To better explain these discrepancies, the author develops an alternative theoretical model with heterogeneous firms, some of which are more profitable than others in certain locations. This model more ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-2

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