The social impact of home rehabilitation in low-income neighborhoods
While economists and others have studied the impact of abandoned foreclosed homes on nearby home prices and crime, very few scholars have attempted to understand the impact of abandonment and rehabilitation on neighborhood social conditions. The foreclosure crisis of 2005-2010 led to a concentration of abandoned foreclosed homes in disadvantaged neighborhoods and these neighborhoods became the targets of a policy intervention, the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. This study employs a mixed-method longitudinal approach to investigate the impact of this foreclosed home rehabilitation policy ...
Shifting confidence in homeownership: the Great Recession
The authors study the responses to several questions related to real estate that were added to the Michigan Survey of Consumers in July and August 2011. In particular, they asked about attitudes toward renting versus buying a home, about commuting, and about how much to spend on a mortgage. By matching the results to data (at the ZIP-code level) about relative house price declines during the recent crisis, they can study the relationship between the U.S. housing crash and the attitudes of individual consumers. They find that younger respondents are relatively less confident about ...
Housing busts and household mobility
Using two decades of American Housing Survey data from 1985 to 2005, we estimate the influence of negative home equity and rising mortgage interest rates on household mobility. We find that both factors lead to lower, not higher, mobility rates over time. The effects are economically large -- mobility is almost 50 percent lower for owners with negative equity in their homes. This finding does not imply that current concerns over defaults and homeowners having to relocate are entirely misplaced. It does indicate that, in the past, the mortgage lock-in effects of these two factors were dominant ...
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 ...
The impact of housing markets on consumer debt: credit report evidence from 1999 to 2012
We investigate the impact of large swings in the housing market on nonmortgage borrowing, including student, credit card, auto, and home equity debts. For this purpose, we use CoreLogic geographic house price variation, matched with rich data on consumer liabilities from the Equifax-sourced FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel. The length and timing of our panel allow us to study the consumer debt portfolio response to house price changes during a boom-and-bust cycle of historic magnitude as well as during more ordinary times. In first-differenced instrumental variables estimation, we find that during ...
\\"What's it worth? Property taxes and assessment practices\\"
Residential property taxes are both a major source of local government financing and a significant cost of owning a home. Tax limitation measures and relatively moderate gains in house prices during most of the 1990s tended to keep property taxes from rising rapidly in those years. But from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s, house prices once again rose sharply. Property taxes followed a similar path, bringing them to greater public attention once again. Now that house prices appear to have shifted to a level or downward trend in most parts of the country, there seems to be increasing concern ...
The rising cost of buying a new home
Moving up: trends in homeownership and mortgage indebtedness.
Since the mid-1980s, important developments have taken place in the housing finance system. In the 1990s, the U.S. economy experienced the longest expansion in its history, marked by substantial growth in household income and wealth. In addition, Congress passed the Tax Reform Act of 1986 and the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, two laws favorable to homeowners. Therefore, it's not surprising that homeownership rates and the mortgage indebtedness of American families have also changed significantly. In "Moving Up: Trends in Homeownership and Mortgage Indebtedness," Wenli Li uses the ...
American dream or American obsession? The economic benefits and costs of homeownership
Homeownership, like baseball and hotdogs, is an integral part of the American culture. Over the past 70 years, the U.S. government has devoted significant public resources to encouraging and promoting homeownership. The recent financial crisis has prompted the government to spend even more on preserving homeownership, despite the fact that the financial crisis itself was led by the meltdown of the U.S. housing market. Now, an increasing number of academicians and media reporters are questioning the previously unquestionable: Has the American dream turned into an American obsession? In ...
The Higher Price of Mortgage Financing for Native Americans
A?ordable access to capital and quality housing is a challenge facing Native Americans. In this paper, we demonstrate that mortgage loans with Native Americans as the primary borrower are systematically more likely to be higher-priced. These loans have an average interest rate nearly 2 percentage points above the average loan for non-Native Americans. We also demonstrate that these higher-priced home loans are predominately found on reservation lands and that manufactured homes account for nearly 25 percent to 35 percent of the di?erence in the cost of ?nancing. These results potentially ...