First-Time Homebuyers: Toward a New Measure
Existing data sources show divergent estimates of the number of homes purchased by first-time homebuyers as a share of all home purchases. In this paper, we use a new data set to construct a time series of the share of first-time homebuyers. This series, based on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Equifax Consumer Credit Panel (CCP), shows a significant decline in this share, particularly for young households, which is consistent with the decline in homeownership in this age cohort since the early 2000s.
Fintech Lending and Mortgage Credit Access
Following the 2008 financial crisis, mortgage credit tightened and banks lost significant mortgage market share to nonbank lenders, including to fintech firms recently. Have fintech firms expanded credit access, or are their customers similar to those of traditional lenders? Unlike in small business and unsecured consumers lending, fintech mortgage lenders do not have the same incentives or flexibility to use alternative data for credit decisions because of stringent mortgage origination requirements. Fintech loans are broadly similar to those made by traditional lenders, despite innovations ...
Leaving Households Behind: Institutional Investors and the U.S. Housing Recovery
Ten years after the mortgage crisis, the U.S. housing market has rebounded significantly with house prices now near the peak achieved during the boom. Homeownership rates, on the other hand, have continued to decline. We reconcile the two phenomena by documenting the rising presence of institutional investors in this market. Our analysis makes use of housing transaction data. By exploiting heterogeneity in zip codes' exposure to the First Look program instituted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that affected investors' access to foreclosed properties, we establish the causal relationship between ...
Diplomas to Doorsteps: Education, Student Debt, and Homeownership
Evidence overwhelmingly shows that the average earnings premium to having a college education is high and has risen over the past several decades, in part because of a decline in real average earnings for those without a college degree. In addition to high private returns, there are substantial social returns to having a well-educated citizenry and workforce. A new development that may have important longer-term implications for education investment and for the broader economy is a significant change in the financing of higher education. State funding has declined markedly over the past two ...
Echoes of rising tuition in students’ borrowing, educational attainment, and homeownership in post-recession America
State average enrollment-weighted public college tuition and fees per school year rose by $3,843 (or 81 percent) between 2001 and 2009. How are recent cohorts absorbing this surge in college costs, and what effect is it having on their post-schooling consumption? Our analysis of tuition, educational attainment, and debt patterns for nine youth cohorts across all fifty states indicates that the tuition hike accounted for $1,628, or about 30 percent, of the increase in average student debt per capita among 24-year-olds between 2003 and 2011. However, estimates indicate no meaningful response to ...
Home Improvement Lending in the Third Federal Reserve District: Patterns by Income, Race, and Gender
Historically, local, state, and federal policies in the U.S. have encouraged households of all backgrounds to pursue homeownership because of the various benefits of owning a home, such as wealth building, protection against housing cost inflation, and psychological well-being, among others.1 Research has demonstrated that the financial, physical, and psychological benefits associated with owning a home have accrued to homeowners of all stripes. However, LMI, minority, and elderly households often face financial barriers to sustaining homeownership over the long run.
Student Loans and Homeownership
We estimate the effect of student loan debt on subsequent homeownership in a uniquely constructed administrative dataset for a nationally representative cohort. We instrument for the amount of individual student debt using changes to the in-state tuition rate at public 4-year colleges in the student's home state. A $1,000 increase in student loan debt lowers the homeownership rate by about 1.5 percentage points for public 4-year college-goers during their mid 20s, equivalent to an average delay of 2.5 months in attaining homeownership. Validity tests suggest that the results are not ...
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 ...
Inequality in U.S. Homeownership Rates by Race and Ethnicity
Homeownership has historically been an important means for Americans to accumulate wealth—in fact, at more than $15 trillion, housing equity accounts for 16 percent of total U.S. household wealth. Consequently, the U.S. homeownership cycle has triggered large swings in Americans’ net worth over the past twenty-five years. However, the nature of those swings has varied significantly by race and ethnicity, with different demographic groups tracing distinct trajectories through the housing boom, the foreclosure crisis, and the subsequent recovery. Here, we look into the dynamics underlying ...
Southeast Housing Market and COVID-19
Considering the devastating effects the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the economic landscape, we can think of no better time to revive our Real Estate Research blog. Atlanta Fed staff, often in partnership with researchers at other Reserve Banks, are continually working to track and assess COVID-19-related developments as they unfold in the housing and mortgage markets.