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9 posts from April 2019

April 18, 2019

Just Released: The New York Fed’s New Regional Economy Website



The New York Fed today unveiled a newly designed website on the regional economy that offers convenient access to a wide array of regional data, analysis, and research that the Bank makes available to the public. Focusing specifically on the Federal Reserve’s Second District, which includes New York State, Northern New Jersey, Southwestern Connecticut, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the new site also features information about the Bank's community engagement and outreach efforts across the region. With today’s release, we are providing new regional economic précis for local areas in our District—that is, short reports that give an overview of economic trends in each location; these reports will be updated regularly as new data are released.

Continue reading "Just Released: The New York Fed’s New Regional Economy Website" »

Posted by Blog Author at 11:01 AM in Employment, Labor Market, New Jersey, New York, New York City, Puerto Rico, Regional Analysis, Unemployment | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 17, 2019

Did Tax Reform Raise the Cost of Owning a Home?



HOUSING SERIES: Post 5 of 5
LSE_2019_Did Tax Reform Raise the Cost of Owning a Home?

The 2018 slowdown in the housing market has been a subject of intense interest to the press and policymakers, including articles reporting a slowing in house price growth and a decline in home construction. Today we follow up on our colleagues’ research on whether the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) has contributed to a slowdown in the housing market, looking closely at what price signals tell us about the trade-off between owning and renting.

Continue reading "Did Tax Reform Raise the Cost of Owning a Home?" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Fiscal Policy, Household, Household Finance, Housing, Mortgages | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 15, 2019

Is the Recent Tax Reform Playing a Role in the Decline of Home Sales?



HOUSING SERIES: Post 4 of 5
LSE_2019_Is the Recent Tax Reform Playing a Role in the Decline of Home Sales?

From the fourth quarter of 2017 through the third quarter of 2018, the average contract interest rate on new thirty-year fixed rate mortgages rose by roughly 70 basis points—from 3.9 percent to 4.6 percent. During this same period, there was a broad-based slowing in housing market activity with sales of new single-family homes declining by 7.6 percent while sales of existing single-family homes fell by 4.6 percent. Interestingly though, these declines in home sales were larger than in the two previous episodes when mortgage interest rates rose by a comparable amount. This post considers whether provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) might have also contributed to the recent decline in housing market activity.

Continue reading "Is the Recent Tax Reform Playing a Role in the Decline of Home Sales?" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Banks, Credit, Household, Household Finance, Housing, Mortgages | Permalink | Comments (1)

April 12, 2019

The Sustainability of First-Time Homeownership



HOUSING SERIES: Post 3 of 5
LSE_2019_housing2-characteristics-first-time-buyer_lee_460_art

In this post we take up the important question of the sustainability of homeownership for first-time buyers. The evaluation of public policies aimed at promoting the transition of individuals from renting to owning should depend not only on the degree to which such policies increase the number of first-time buyers, but also importantly on whether these new buyers are able to sustain their homeownership. If a buyer is unprepared to manage the financial responsibilities of owning a home and consequently must return to renting, then the household may have made little to no progress in wealth accumulation. Despite the importance of sustainability, to date there have been no efforts at measuring the sustainability of first-time homeownership. We provide an example of a first-time homebuyer sustainability scorecard.

Continue reading "The Sustainability of First-Time Homeownership" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Household, Household Finance, Housing, Mortgages | Permalink | Comments (2)

April 10, 2019

Who’s on First? Characteristics of First-Time Homebuyers



HOUSING SERIES: Post 2 of 5
LSE_2019_housing2-characteristics-first-time-buyer_lee_460_art

In our previous post, we presented a new measure of first-time homebuyers. In this post, we use this improved measure to describe the characteristics of first-time buyers and how those characteristics change over time. Having an accurate assessment of first-time buyers is important given that the aim of many housing policies is to support the transition from renting to owning. A proper assessment of these housing policies requires an understanding of the impact of these policies on the share of first-time buyers and the characteristics of these buyers. Our third post will directly examine the sustainability of homeownership by first-time buyers.

Continue reading "Who’s on First? Characteristics of First-Time Homebuyers" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Credit, Forecasting, Household, Household Finance, Housing, Mortgages | Permalink | Comments (2)

April 08, 2019

A Better Measure of First-Time Homebuyers



HOUSING SERIES: Post 1 of 5
LSE_2019_A Better Measure of First-Time Homebuyers

Much of the concern about affordable homeownership has focused on first-time buyers. These buyers, who are often making the transition from renting to owning, can find it difficult to save to meet down-payment requirements; this is particularly true in those areas where rent takes up a significant portion of a household’s monthly income. In contrast to first-time buyers, repeat buyers can typically rely on the equity in their current house to help fund the down payment on a trade-up purchase; they also have an easier time qualifying for a new mortgage if they’ve successfully made payments on a prior mortgage, thereby improving their credit score. Despite the policy focus on first-time buyers, reliable data on these buyers do not exist. In this first of three posts, we introduce a better measure of first-time buyers and examine the dynamics of this group over the past seventeen years. In our next post, we will describe the characteristics of first-time buyers. We will conclude this part of the housing series by examining the sustainability of homeownership for first-time buyers.

Continue reading "A Better Measure of First-Time Homebuyers" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Household Finance, Housing, Mortgages | Permalink | Comments (1)

April 05, 2019

Just Released: The New York Fed Staff Forecast—April 2019



Today, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is hosting the spring meeting of its Economic Advisory Panel (EAP). As has become the custom at this meeting, the New York Fed Research staff is presenting its forecast for U.S. growth, inflation, and the unemployment rate. Following the presentation, members of the EAP, which consists of leading economists in academia and the private sector, are asked to critique the staff forecast. Such feedback helps the staff evaluate the assumptions and reasoning underlying its forecast as well as the forecast’s key risks. The feedback is also an important part of the forecasting process because it informs the staff’s discussions with New York Fed President John Williams about economic conditions. In that same spirit, we are sharing a short summary of the staff forecast in this post; for more detail, see the New York Fed Staff Outlook Presentation from the EAP meeting on our website.

Continue reading "Just Released: The New York Fed Staff Forecast—April 2019" »

Posted by Blog Author at 10:30 AM in Forecasting, Macroecon | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 03, 2019

Are New Repo Participants Gaining Ground?



LSE_Are New Repo Participants Gaining Ground?

Following the 2007-09 financial crisis, regulations were introduced that increased the cost of entering into repurchase agreements (repo) for bank holding companies (BHC). As a consequence, banks and securities dealers associated with BHCs, a set of firms which dominates the repo market, were predicted to pull back from the market. In this blog post, we examine whether this changed environment allowed new participants, particularly those not subject to the new regulations, to emerge. We find that although new participants have come on the scene and made gains, they remain a small part of the overall repo market.

Continue reading "Are New Repo Participants Gaining Ground?" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Dealers, Financial Markets, Repo | Permalink | Comments (1)

April 01, 2019

The Keynesian Growth Approach to Macroeconomic Policy and Productivity



The Keynesian Growth Approach to Macroeconomic Policy and Productivity

Productivity is one of the key determinants of potential output—that is, the trend level of production consistent with stable inflation. A productivity growth slowdown has occurred in several advanced economies in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, raising concerns about long-term growth. In response, a variety of supply-side policy options have been proposed, such as reforms to increase labor and product market flexibility. In this blog post, we consider the role of demand-side policies in raising trend productivity growth.

Continue reading "The Keynesian Growth Approach to Macroeconomic Policy and Productivity" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Macroecon | Permalink | Comments (2)

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