Adjustable-rate mortgages and the Libor surprise
Adjustable-rate mortgages have typically been tied to either of two indexes, one based on U.S. treasuries, the other on the London interbank offered rate, or Libor. The index is used to determine a mortgage?s new interest rate when it is reset, and up until recently, the choice would have made little difference. But since 2007, the rates on which the indexes are based have diverged sharply, and borrowers with Libor-based adjustable-rate mortgages are likely to pay more than they would have had their mortgages been tied to treasuries. Moreover, the proportion of Libor-based ARMs has increased ...
Consumer guide to nontraditional mortgages published
The termination of subprime hybrid and fixed rate mortgages
Adjustable rate and hybrid loans have been a large and important component of subprime lending in the mortgage market. While maintaining the familiar 30-year term the typical adjustable rate loan in subprime is designed as a hybrid of fixed and adjustable characteristics. In its most prevalent form, the first two years are typically fixed and the remaining 28 years adjustable. Perhaps not surprisingly, using a competing risks proportional hazard framework that also accounts for unobserved heterogeneity, hybrid loans are sensitive to rising interest rates and tend to temporarily terminate at ...
Why are Adjustable Rate Mortgages So Rare These Days?
The fraction of mortgage borrowers who choose an adjustable-rate loan has fallen significantly over the past five years or so. Although the fraction edged up slightly in 2010, it remains close to historic lows, with less than 10 percent of mortgage originations since 2009 featuring an adjustable interest rate. What explains the striking decline? And what are its implications for borrowers and policymakers?
Has the housing boom increased mortgage risk?
Why is the market share of adjustable-rate mortgages so low?
Over the past several years, U.S. homebuyers have increasingly favored fixed-rate mortgages over adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). Indeed, ARMs have dropped to less than 10 percent of all residential mortgage originations, a near-record low. One might speculate that the decline in the ARM share has been driven by ?one-off? factors relating to the financial crisis. However, a statistical analysis suggests that recent trends can largely be explained by the same factors that have historically shaped mortgage choice?most notably, the term structure of interest rates and its effects on the ...
Are adjustable-rate mortgage borrowers borrowing constrained?
Past research argues that changes in adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) payments may lead households to cut back on consumption or to default on their mortgages. In this paper, we argue that these outcomes are more likely if ARM borrowers are borrowing constrained, and find that ARM borrowers exhibit characteristics and behavior that are consistent with being borrowing constrained. Although the demographic and financial characteristics of ARM and fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) borrowers are quite similar, ARM borrowers differ from FRM borrowers in their uses of credit and attitudes towards it. In ...
Fed publishes revised handbook on adjustable rate mortgages
Underscoring banking regulators' concerns about the growing use of nontraditional mortgages, the Consumer Handbook on Adjustable-Rate Mortgages has undergone one of its most substantial revisions since its 1987 publication.
The Mortgage Cash Flow Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission: A Tale of Two Countries
We study the mortgage cash flow channel of monetary policy transmission under fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) versus adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) regimes by comparing the United States with primarily long-term FRMs and Spain with primarily ARMs that automatically reset annually. We find a robust transmission of mortgage rate changes to spending in both countries but surprisingly a larger effect in the United States—and provide two explanations for this finding. First, there are channels of transmission other than the mortgage cash flow effect since other interest rates co-move with the mortgage ...
Payment size, negative equity, and mortgage default
Surprisingly little is known about the importance of mortgage payment size for default, as efforts to measure the treatment effect of rate increases or loan modifications are confounded by borrower selection. We study a sample of hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages that have experienced large rate reductions over the past years and are largely immune to these selection concerns. We show that interest rate changes dramatically affect repayment behavior. Our estimates imply that cutting a borrower?s payment in half reduces his hazard of becoming delinquent by about two-thirds, an effect that is ...