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Subprime lending and the housing bubble: Tail wags dog?

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Author Info

  • Coleman IV, Major
  • LaCour-Little, Michael
  • Vandell, Kerry D.

Abstract

ABSTRACT The cause of the "housing bubble" associated with the sharp rise and then drop in home prices over the period 1998-2008 has been the focus of significant policy and research attention. The dramatic increase in subprime lending during this period has been broadly blamed for these market dynamics. In this paper we empirically investigate the validity of this hypothesis vs. several other alternative explanations. A model of house price dynamics over the period 1998-2006 is specified and estimated using a cross-sectional time-series data base across 20 metropolitan areas over the period 1998-2006. Results suggest that prior to early 2004, economic fundamentals provide the primary explanation for house price dynamics. Subprime credit activity does not seem to have had much impact on subsequent house price returns at any time during the observation period, although there is strong evidence of a price-boosting effect by investor loans. However, we do find strong evidence that a credit regime shift took place in late 2003, as the GSE's were displaced in the market by private issuers of new mortgage products. Market fundamentals became insignificant in affecting house price returns, and the price-momentum conditions characteristic of a "bubble" were created. Thus, rather than causing the run-up in house prices, the subprime market may well have been a joint product, along with house price increases, (i.e., the "tail") of the changing institutional, political, and regulatory environment characteristic of the period after late 2003 (the "dog").

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Housing Economics.

Volume (Year): 17 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 272-290

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhouse:v:17:y:2008:i:4:p:272-290

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622881

Related research

Keywords: Mortgage House prices Subprime Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Housing bubble;

References

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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko & Raven E. Saks, 2005. "Why Have Housing Prices Gone Up?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 329-333, May.
  2. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 2003. "Is There a Bubble in the Housing Market?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(2), pages 299-362.
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  5. Shiller, Robert J., 2007. "Understanding Recent Trends in House Prices and Home Ownership," Working Papers 28, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  6. Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing high house prices: bubbles, fundamentals, and misperceptions," Staff Reports 218, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. Jaffee, Dwight M. & Quigley, John M., 2007. "Housing Subsidies and Homeowners: What Role for Government-Sponsored Enterprises?," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt6g8986r5, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  8. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1987. "Prices of single-family homes since 1970: new indexes for four cities," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Sep, pages 45-56.
  9. Robert Shiller, 2007. "Understanding Recent Trends in House Prices and Home Ownership," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2557, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Nov 2007.
  10. Malpezzi, Stephen & Maclennan, Duncan, 2001. "The Long-Run Price Elasticity of Supply of New Residential Construction in the United States and the United Kingdom," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 278-306, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kristopher S. Gerardi & Andreas Lehnert & Shane M. Sherlund & Paul S. Willen, 2009. "Making sense of the subprime crisis," Working Paper 2009-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  2. John Krainer & Stephen F. LeRoy & Munpyung O, 2009. "Mortgage default and mortgage valuation," Working Paper Series 2009-20, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Amir E. Khandani & Andrew W. Lo & Robert C. Merton, 2009. "Systemic Risk and the Refinancing Ratchet Effect," NBER Working Papers 15362, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Anundsen, André Kallåk & Heebøll, Christian, 2013. "Supply Restrictions, Subprime Lending and Regional US Housing Prices," Memorandum 04/2013, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  5. Christoph Basten & Cathérine Koch, 2014. "The causal effect of house prices on mortgage demand and mortgage supply," ECON - Working Papers 140, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Brueckner, Jan K. & Calem, Paul S. & Nakamura, Leonard I., 2012. "Subprime mortgages and the housing bubble," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 230-243.
  7. LaCour-Little, Michael & Calhoun, Charles A. & Yu, Wei, 2011. "What role did piggyback lending play in the housing bubble and mortgage collapse?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 81-100, June.
  8. Calem, Paul & Henderson, Christopher & Liles, Jonathan, 2011. ""Cherry picking" in subprime mortgage securitizations: Which subprime mortgage loans were sold by depository institutions prior to the crisis of 2007?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 120-140, June.
  9. Marsha J. Courchane & Cynthia Holmes, 2014. "Bubble, Bubble ¡V Is there House Price Trouble -- in Canada?," International Real Estate Review, Asian Real Estate Society, vol. 17(1), pages 109-135.
  10. Carlos P. Barros & Luis A. Gil-Alana, 2013. "The Housing Markets in Spain and Portugal: Evidence of Persistence," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 3, pages 19-32, November.
  11. Kristopher Gerardi & Adam Hale Shapiro & Paul S. Willen, 2009. "Decomposing the foreclosure crisis: House price depreciation versus bad underwriting," Working Paper 2009-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  12. Calem, Paul S. & Firestone, Simon & Wachter, Susan M., 2010. "Credit impairment and housing tenure status," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 219-232, September.
  13. Nichols, Joseph B. & Oliner, Stephen D. & Mulhall, Michael R., 2013. "Swings in commercial and residential land prices in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 57-76.
  14. Man Cho, 2009. "Managing Mortgage Credit Risk: What Went Wrong With the Subprime and Alt-A Markets?," International Real Estate Review, Asian Real Estate Society, vol. 12(3), pages 295-324.
  15. Sarah Riley, 2012. "Land use regulations and the returns to low-income homeownership," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 745-766, December.
  16. Cynthia A. Bansa & Martha A. Starr, 2011. "Distributional costs of the housing-price bust," Working Papers 2011-04, American University, Department of Economics.
  17. Nneji, Ogonna & Brooks, Chris & Ward, Charles W.R., 2013. "House price dynamics and their reaction to macroeconomic changes," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 172-178.
  18. Ambrose, Brent W. & Diop, Moussa, 2014. "Spillover effects of subprime mortgage originations: The effects of single-family mortgage credit expansion on the multifamily rental market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 114-135.
  19. Sonya Ravindranath Waddell & Anne Davlin & Edward S. Prescott, 2011. "A regional look at the role of house prices and labor market conditions in mortgage default," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 1Q, pages 1-43.

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