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104 posts on "Housing"
May 8, 2024

How Are They Now? A Checkup on Homeowners Who Experienced Foreclosure

 
The end of the Great Recession marked the beginning of the longest economic expansion in U.S. history. The Great Recession, with its dramatic housing bust, led to a wave of home foreclosures as overleveraged borrowers found themselves unable to meet their payment obligations. In early 2009, the New York Fed’s Research Group launched the Consumer Credit Panel (CCP), a foundational data set of the Center for Microeconomic Data, to monitor the financial health of Americans as the economy recovered. The CCP, which is based on anonymized credit report data from Equifax, gives us an opportunity to track individuals during the period leading to the foreclosure, observe when a flag is added to their credit report and then—years later—removed. Here, we examine the longer-term impact of a foreclosure on borrowers’ credit scores and borrowing experiences: do they return to borrowing, or shy away from credit use and homeownership after their earlier bad experience? 

May 6, 2024

Mortgage Rate Lock‑In and Homeowners’ Moving Plans

Photo: man unloading boxes from a moving truck

The U.S. housing market has had a tumultuous few years. After falling to record lows during the pandemic, the average 30-year mortgage rate rapidly increased in 2022 and 2023 and now hovers near a two-decade high of 7.2 percent. For those that locked in a low mortgage rate prior to 2022, this steep increase has significantly increased the cost of moving, as taking out a mortgage at current rates would potentially increase their monthly housing payment by hundreds or thousands of dollars, even if the amount they borrowed remained unchanged. As shown by Ferreira et al. (2011), this lock-in effect has the potential to reduce geographic mobility and turnover in the housing market and has gained the attention of Federal Reserve leaders. In this post, we utilize special questions from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s 2023 and 2024 SCE Housing Surveys to estimate the extent to which mortgage rate lock-in is suppressing U.S. household’s moving plans.

Posted at 11:00 am in Household Finance, Housing | Permalink | Comments (0)
March 26, 2024

What Happens to U.S. Activity and Inflation if China’s Property Sector Leads to a Crisis?

Photo: Construction site of three tall building towers with threes crane

A previous post explored the potential implications for U.S. growth and inflation of a manufacturing-led boom in China. This post considers spillovers to the U.S. from a downside scenario, one in which China’s ongoing property sector slump takes another leg down and precipitates an economic hard landing and financial crisis.

January 10, 2024

An Overlooked Factor in Banks’ Lending to Minorities

Illustration: Economic Inequality - Credit Access: What affects lending disparities? gold background with ill of a bank building and four people of different races. arrows showing a circular motion between them.

In the second quarter of 2022, the homeownership rate for white households was 75 percent, compared to 45 percent for Black households and 48 percent for Hispanic households. One reason for these differences, virtually unchanged in the last few decades, is uneven access to credit. Studies have documented that minorities are more likely to be denied credit, pay higher rates, be charged higher fees, and face longer turnaround times compared to similar non-minority borrowers. In this post, which is based on a related Staff Report, we show that banks vary substantially in their lending to minorities, and we document an overlooked factor in this difference—the inequality aversion of banks’ stakeholders.

Posted at 7:00 am in Banks, Housing, Inequality | Permalink
November 30, 2023

FHA First‑Time Buyer Homeownership Sustainability: An Update

Young African American heterosexual couple sitting on the steps of a house with front door open and cardboard moving boxes around them.

An important part of the mission of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is to provide affordable mortgages that both promote the transition from renting to owning and create “sustainable” homeownership. The FHA has never defined what it means by sustainability.  However, we developed a scorecard in 2018 that tracks the long-term outcomes of FHA first-time buyers (FTBs) and update it again in this post. The data show that from 2011 to 2016 roughly
21.8 percent of FHA FTBs failed to sustain their homeownership.

November 13, 2023

How Do Banks Lend in Inaccurate Flood Zones in the Fed’s Second District?

Photo of blue house in pine woods area flooded with muddy water up to its front door.

In our previous post, we identified the degree to which flood maps in the Federal Reserve’s Second District are inaccurate. In this post, we use our data on the accuracy of flood maps to examine how banks lend in “inaccurately mapped” areas, again focusing on the Second District in particular. We find that banks are seemingly aware of poor-quality flood maps and are generally less likely to lend in such regions, thereby demonstrating a degree of flood risk management or risk aversion. This propensity to avoid lending in inaccurately mapped areas can be seen in jumbo as well as non-jumbo loans, once we account for a series of confounding effects. The results for the Second District largely mirror those for the rest of the nation, with inaccuracies leading to similar reductions in lending, especially among non-jumbo loans.

June 22, 2023

Elevated Rent Expectations Continue to Pressure Low‑Income Households

illustration of person sitting on their suitcases outside of a house with a lock on the front door with the question: who feels most vulnerable.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s 2023 SCE Housing Survey, released in April, reported some novel data about expectations for home prices, interest rates, and mortgage refinancing. While the data showed a sharp drop in home price expectations, some of the most notable findings concern renters. In this post, we take a deeper dive into how renters’ expectations and financial situations have evolved over the past year. We find that both owners and renters expect rents to rise rapidly over the next year, albeit at a slower pace than last year. Furthermore, we also show that eviction expectations rose sharply over the past twelve months, and that this increase was most pronounced for those in the lowest quartile of the income distribution.

Posted at 2:00 pm in Equitable Growth, Housing, Inflation | Permalink
May 25, 2023

Do Veterans Face Disparities in Higher Education, Health, and Housing?

Illustration of "how do veterans fare?" of veteran saluting with house, medical sign and college cap.

Veterans are an understudied group that forms an important part of the fabric of American society and that constitutes a significant segment of the population. In the first post of this two-part series, we will investigate how the outcomes of veteran men–in educational attainment, health, and housing–differ from those of comparable men who did not serve in the military. Looking only at men, for reasons described below, we find that relative to nonveteran men with a high school degree and a similar distribution of demographic and geographic characteristics, veterans are 7 percentage points less likely to have a college degree and are over 50 percent more likely to experience a disability. Veterans are also somewhat likelier to rent a home than to own and, as renters, pay a lower average rent, suggesting they experience lower quality housing or live in worse neighborhoods.

May 15, 2023

The Great Pandemic Mortgage Refinance Boom

Decorative photo: play house with gray roof and red brick exterior, sitting on top of a spread out pile of $20 bills.

Total debt balances grew by $148 billion in the first quarter of 2023, a modest increase after 2022’s record growth. Mortgages, the largest form of household debt, grew by only $121 billion, according to the latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit from the New York Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data.  The increase was tempered by a sharp reduction in both purchase and refinance mortgage originations. The pandemic boom in purchase originations was driven by many factors – low mortgage rates, strong household balance sheets, and an increased demand for housing. Homeowners who refinanced in 2020 and 2021 benefitted from historically low interest rates and will be enjoying low financing costs for decades ­to come. These “rate refinance” borrowers have lowered their monthly mortgage payments, improving their cash flow, while other “cash-out” borrowers extracted equity from their real estate assets, making more cash available for consumption. Here, we explore the refi boom of 2020-21–who refinanced, who took out cash, and how much potential consumption support these transactions provided. In this analysis, as well as the Quarterly Report, we use our Consumer Credit Panel (CCP), which is based on anonymized credit reports from Equifax.

First‑Time Buyers Did Not Drive Strong House Price Appreciation in 2021

Photo of family moving into their first home; taking boxes out of a truck. Parents and two daughters.

In May 2022, Sam Khater—chief economist for Freddie Mac—argued that a surge in first-time buyers had been an important driver of the housing market the previous year. In contrast, using data from the New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel, we find that the share of home purchases by first-time buyers fell in 2021. This suggests that other factors were important to the rapid increase in house prices in 2021. 

Posted at 7:00 am in Equitable Growth, Housing, Inflation | Permalink
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