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Discussion Paper
Crisis Chronicles: The Hamburg Crisis of 1799 and How Extreme Winter Weather Still Disrupts the Economy

With intermittent war raging across much of Western Europe near the end of the eighteenth century, by about 1795, Hamburg had replaced Amsterdam as an important hub for commodities trade. And from 1795 to 1799, Hamburg boomed. Prices for goods increased, the harbor was full, and warehouses were bulging. But when a harsh winter iced over the harbor, excess demand and speculation drove up prices. By spring, demand proved lower than supply, and prices started falling, credit tightened, and the decline in prices accelerated. So when a ship bound for Hamburg laden with gold sunk off the coast, an ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20140808

Report
An Overview of the Nonprofit Foreclosure Counseling Industry in Philadelphia

The collapse of the housing market in the second half of the last decade created increased demand for counseling services to assist homeowners dealing with foreclosure. In Philadelphia, the nonprofit agencies that provide free housing counseling dealt with this surge in demand at the same time that funding became increasingly hard to secure. This paper provides a high-level overview of the state of the nonprofit foreclosure counseling industry in Philadelphia in the wake of the housing crash. The report includes information on the industry?s funding levels and sources, details what agencies ...
Cascade Focus

Discussion Paper
Trends in Debt Concentration in the United States By Income

Household debt in the United States expanded before the Great Recession, contracted afterward, and has been recovering since 2013. But how has the distribution of debt across different income groups evolved over time? Who has been driving the recovery of household debt over the past two years? To date, there has been little work on how borrowing patterns for high- and low-income individuals have changed over time, although one notable exception is Amromin and McGranahan. Here, using the New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel (CCP), a quarterly panel data set based on Equifax credit reports, we ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20151105

Working Paper
Housing Market Interventions and Residential Mobility in the San Francisco Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area is an extreme case of a constrained housing market, with job growth outpacing new housing production and resulting in supply shortages and price spikes that date back at least 30 years. The Bay Area’s structural shortage of housing that is affordable at all income levels affects the regional economy by increasing commuting and housing costs, which creates barriers to full economic participation, especially for lower income workers. An array of solutions have been considered, including subsidized housing production, affordable housing preservation, and tenant ...
Community Development Working Paper , Paper 2022-01

Briefing
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on New England Homeowners and Renters

Job losses and likely layoffs related to the COVID-19 pandemic will put many New England residents at risk of not being able to pay their mortgage or rent and needing financial assistance and state-government safeguards to remain in their homes. Economic interventions from Congress, primarily through the federal CARES Act, include direct payments to households and increased unemployment insurance benefits that are expected to provide vital support to many of these households for the next three to four months. Even with these efforts, 2 to 3 percent of New England homeowners and 9 to 13 ...
New England Public Policy Center Regional Brief , Paper 2020-02

Journal Article
Flexibility and Conversions in New York City's Housing Stock: Building for an Era of Rapid Change

Post-COVID, New York City faces reduced demand for commercial space in its central business districts, even as residential demand is resurgent. Just as in past eras of New York’s history, conversion of commercial spaces into housing may help the city adapt to these new market conditions and provide an additional pathway for producing badly needed housing. If 10 percent of office and hotel spaces were converted to residential use, around 75,000 homes would be created, concentrated in Midtown Manhattan. However, there are considerable obstacles to such conversions, including a slew of ...
Economic Policy Review , Volume 29 , Issue 2 , Pages 53-74

Discussion Paper
Refinance Boom Winds Down

Total household debt balances continued their upward climb in the first quarter of 2022 with an increase of $266 billion; this rise was primarily driven by a $250 billion increase in mortgage balances, according to the latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Creditfrom the New York Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data. Mortgages, historically the largest form of household debt, now comprise 71 percent of outstanding household debt balances, up from 69 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019. Driving the increase in mortgage balances has been a high volume of new mortgage originations, ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20220510

Working Paper
The Effects of the 1930s HOLC \"Redlining\" Maps

In the wake of the Great Depression, the Federal government created new institutions such as the Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC) to stabilize housing markets. As part of that effort, the HOLC created residential security maps for over 200 cities to grade the riskiness of lending to neighborhoods. We trace out the effects of these maps over the course of the 20th and into the early 21st century by linking geocoded HOLC maps to both Census and modern credit bureau data. Our analysis looks at the difference in outcomes between residents living on a lower graded side versus a higher graded ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2017-12

Discussion Paper
Whither Mortgages?

Our most recent Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit showed that although total household debt has increased somewhat since 2012, that growth has been driven almost entirely by nonhousing debt?credit cards, auto loans and student loans. The largest category of household debt?mortgages?has been essentially flat since 2012, in spite of a substantial rise in housing prices over that period. In this post, we explore the sources of the sluggish growth in mortgage debt using our New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel, which is based on Equifax credit data.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20160222

Discussion Paper
Eviction Expectations in the Post-Pandemic Housing Market

Housing is the single largest element of the typical household’s budget, and data from the SCE Household Spending Survey show that this is especially true for renters. As the housing market heated up in the latter stages of the pandemic, home prices and rents both began to rise sharply. For renters, some protection from these increases was afforded by national, state, and in some cases local eviction moratoria, which greatly reduced the risk of households losing access to stable housing if they couldn’t afford their rent. Yet many of these protections have expired and additional supports ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20221004

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