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Just the facts: An initial analysis of subprime's role in the housing crisis

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Author Info

  • Foote, Christopher L.
  • Gerardi, Kristopher
  • Goette, Lorenz
  • Willen, Paul S.

Abstract

Using two large proprietary datasets from New England, this paper establishes some basic facts about the subprime crisis. First, while unaffordable interest-rate resets are often blamed for setting off this crisis, most subprime borrowers who defaulted did so well in advance of their reset dates. Defaults on subprime adjustable-rate mortgages are more sensitive to declining housing prices than are defaults on fixed-rate loans, however, and the data support a number of alternative explanations for this finding. Second, many borrowers with good credit scores took out subprime loans as the housing boom gathered steam. It is hard to construct a prima facie case that these borrowers were inappropriately steered into the subprime market, however, because the loans that these borrowers took out were too risky for prime treatment. Finally, 70% of Massachusetts homes recently lost to foreclosure were originally purchased with prime mortgages. But subprime refinancing is especially prevalent among owners who were likely to have extracted substantial amounts of equity before they defaulted.

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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: 291-305

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhouse:v:17:y:2008:i:4:p:291-305

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

Related research

Keywords: Mortgage Subprime Crisis;

References

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  1. Chris Mayer & Karen Pence, 2008. "Subprime mortgages: what, where, and to whom?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Foote, Christopher L. & Gerardi, Kristopher & Willen, Paul S., 2008. "Negative equity and foreclosure: Theory and evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 234-245, September.
  3. Kristopher Gerardi & Adam Hale Shapiro & Paul S. Willen, 2007. "Subprime outcomes: risky mortgages, homeownership experiences, and foreclosures," Working Papers 07-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  4. Christopher J. Mayer & Karen Pence, 2008. "Subprime Mortgages: What, Where, and to Whom?," NBER Working Papers 14083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. W. Scott Frame & Lawrence J. White, 2014. "Technological Change, Financial Innovation, and Diffusion in Banking," Working Papers 14-02, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  2. John Gilderbloom & Katrina Anaker & Gregory Squires & Matt Hanka & Joshua Ambrosius, 2011. "Why Foreclosure Rates in African American Neighborhoods are so High: Looking at the Real Reaonss," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1597, European Regional Science Association.
  3. Christopher Foote & Kristopher Gerardi & Lorenz Goette & Paul Willen, 2009. "Reducing Foreclosures: No Easy Answers," NBER Working Papers 15063, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Christopher L. Foote & Kristopher S. Gerardi & Paul S. Willen, 2012. "Why did so many people make so many ex post bad decisions?: the causes of the foreclosure crisis," Public Policy Discussion Paper 12-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  5. Hui, Eddie C.M. & Chen, Jia, 2012. "Investigating the change of causality in emerging property markets during the financial tsunami," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 391(15), pages 3951-3962.
  6. Kristopher S. Gerardi & Paul S. Willen, 2009. "Subprime mortgages, foreclosures, and urban neighborhoods," Working Paper 2009-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  7. Elaine Fortowsky & Michael LaCour-Little & Eric Rosenblatt & Vincent Yao, 2011. "Housing Tenure and Mortgage Choice," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 162-180, February.
  8. Gene Amromin & Anna L. Paulson, 2009. "Comparing patterns of default among prime and subprime mortgages," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 18-37.
  9. Xue, Yi & He, Yin & Shao, Xinjian, 2012. "Butterfly effect: The US real estate market downturn and the Asian recession," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 92-102.
  10. Geetesh Bhardwaj & Rajdeep Sengupta, 2011. "Credit scoring and loan default," Working Papers 2011-040, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  11. Swan, Peter L., 2009. "The political economy of the subprime crisis: Why subprime was so attractive to its creators," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 124-132, March.
  12. Blackburn, McKinley L. & Vermilyea, Todd, 2012. "The prevalence and impact of misstated incomes on mortgage loan applications," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 151-168.

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