The portfolios and wealth of low-income homeowners and renters: findings from an evaluation of Self-Help Ventures Fund’s Community Advantage Program
The distribution of wealth in the United States is more highly skewed than the distribution of income. Nowhere is this clearer than in the case of homeowners and renters. Those who own their homes typically have about 20 to 40 times more net wealth than those who rent. ; Although home equity plays a role in this growing disparity, it does not fully explain why renters hold fewer assets than homeowners. Even excluding home equity, renters are more than twice as likely to be asset-poor as are homeowners. Renters also hold a smaller range of assets than owners, suggesting that homeownership ...
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Homeownership: patterns trends, and policies
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 ...
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 ...
Buy a home or rent? A better way to choose
Knowing whether buying a home is a better financial move for a family than renting requires a consideration of costs and options that people often neglect to factor in. One aspect of the calculation that is almost always overlooked is uncertainty--the fact that no matter how good one's estimates of the future are, the future can turn out differently than projected. Incorporating uncertainty into the rent-or-buy calculation gives potential homebuyers information that can improve their decisions. While incorporating uncertainty is complicated, it's made easier with the Cleveland Fed's online ...
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 ...
A promising way forward for homeownership: assessing the benefits of shared equity programs
In the wake of the foreclosure crisis, what programs can help low-income families become homeowners in a sustainable way? Shared equity programs offer one model, successfully balancing both affordability and asset building goals. In this article, researchers from the Urban Institute evaluate the effectiveness of 7 shared equity homeownership programs from across the country. They find that without exception, the programs provide long-term affordable homeownership, opportunities for low-income families to build equity, and sustainable tenure. This study suggests that shared equity programs ...
Home-buying trends carve new niches in home types.
The homeownership experience of households in bankruptcy
This paper provides the first in-depth analysis of the homeownership experience of households in bankruptcy. The authors consider households who are homeowners at the time of filing. These households are typically seriously delinquent on their mortgages at the time of filing. The authors measure how often they end up losing their houses in foreclosure, the time between bankruptcy filing and foreclosure sale, and the foreclosure sale price. In particular, they follow homeowners who filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy between 2001 and 2002 in New Castle County, Delaware, through October 2007. They ...