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The Housing Meltdown: Why Did It Happen in the United States?

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  • Luci Ellis

    ()
    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

Abstract

The crisis enveloping global financial markets since August 2007 was triggered by actual and prospective credit losses on US mortgages. Was the United States just unlucky to have been the first to experience a housing crisis? Or was it inherently more susceptible to one? I examine the limited international evidence available, to ask how the boom- bust cycle in the US housing market differed from elsewhere and what the underlying institutional drivers of these differences were. Compared with other countries, the United States seems to have: built up a larger overhang of excess housing supply; experienced a greater easing in mortgage lending standards; and ended up with a household sector more vulnerable to falling housing prices. Some of these outcomes seem to have been driven by tax, legal and regulatory systems that encouraged households to increase their leverage and permitted lenders to enable that development. Given the institutional background, it may have been that the US housing boom was always more likely to end badly than the booms elsewhere.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Asian Real Estate Society in its journal International Real Estate Review.

Volume (Year): 13 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 351-394

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Handle: RePEc:ire:issued:v:13:n:03:2010:p:351-394

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Postal: Asia Real Estate Society, 51 Monroe Street, Plaza E-6, Rockville, MD 20850, USA
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Web page: http://www.asres.org/

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Postal: Asian Real Estate Society, 51 Monroe Street, Plaza E-6, Rockville, MD 20850, USA
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Related research

Keywords: Housing construction; Housing prices; Mortgage delinquencies; Mortgage markets; Subprime;

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References

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  1. Ashcraft, Adam B. & Schuermann, Til, 2008. "Understanding the Securitization of Subprime Mortgage Credit," Foundations and Trends(R) in Finance, now publishers, vol. 2(3), pages 191-309, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Duffy, David & O'Hanlon, Niall, 2013. "Negative Equity in the Irish Housing Market: Estimates Using Loan Level Data," Papers WP463, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  2. Francis E Warnock & Veronica Cacdac Warnock, 2012. "Developing Housing Finance Systems," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Alexandra Heath & Frank Packer & Callan Windsor (ed.), Property Markets and Financial Stability Reserve Bank of Australia.
  3. Crowe, Christopher & Dell’Ariccia, Giovanni & Igan, Deniz & Rabanal, Pau, 2013. "How to deal with real estate booms: Lessons from country experiences," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 300-319.
  4. Luci Ellis, 2008. "How many in negative equity? The role of mortgage contract characteristics," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
  5. Coskun, Yener, 2010. "Global Financial Crisis, Problems in Official Discipline and Designing Optimal Official Discipline Framework (Küresel Kriz, Resmi Disiplin Sorunları ve Optimal Resmi Disiplin Sisteminin Tasarımı)<," MPRA Paper 33628, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Musso, Alberto & Neri, Stefano & Stracca, Livio, 2010. "Housing, consumption and monetary policy: how different are the US and the euro area?," Working Paper Series 1161, European Central Bank.
  7. Luci Ellis & Mariano Kulish & Stephanie Wallace, 2012. "Property Market Cycles as Paths to Financial Distress," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Alexandra Heath & Frank Packer & Callan Windsor (ed.), Property Markets and Financial Stability Reserve Bank of Australia.
  8. Bandyopadhyay, Arindam & Saha, Asish, 2009. "Factors Driving Demand and Default Risk in Residential Housing Loans: Indian Evidence," MPRA Paper 14352, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Richard J. Buttimer, 2011. "The financial crisis: imperfect markets and imperfect regulation," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(1), pages 12-32, February.
  10. Frank Packer & Timothy Riddiough, 2012. "Securitisation and the Commercial Property Cycle," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Alexandra Heath & Frank Packer & Callan Windsor (ed.), Property Markets and Financial Stability Reserve Bank of Australia.
  11. Dan Andrews, 2010. "Real House Prices in OECD Countries: The Role of Demand Shocks and Structural and Policy Factors," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 831, OECD Publishing.
  12. Đorđe Đukić & Mališa Đukić, 2009. "The Global Financial Crisis and the Behaviour of Short-Term Interest Rates International and Serbian Aspects," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 56(4), pages 491-506, December.
  13. Dilyana Dimova, 2012. "The Role of Consumer Leverage in Generating Financial Crises," Economics Series Working Papers 631, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  14. William R. White, 2010. "The Mayekawa Lecture: Some Alternative Perspectives on Macroeconomic Theory and Some Policy Implications," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 28, pages 35-58, November.
  15. Orlean, André, 2009. "De l'euphorie à la panique : penser la crise financière," Opuscules du CEPREMAP, CEPREMAP, number 16, May.
  16. Yener Altunbas & Leonardo Gambacorta & David Marques-Ibanez, 2010. "Does monetary policy affect bank risk-taking?," BIS Working Papers 298, Bank for International Settlements.
  17. Andreas Horsch, 2012. "Managerial Action And Financial Crisis," Polish Journal of Management Studies, Czestochowa Technical University, Department of Management, vol. 5(1), pages 7-33, June.
  18. Diewert, W. Erwin & Nakamura, Alice O. & Nakamura, Leonard I., 2009. "The housing bubble and a new approach to accounting for housing in a CPI," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 156-171, September.
  19. Coskun, Yener, 2010. "Global Financial Crisis and Mortgage Finance and Valuation Problems: An Assesment of the US and Turkish Mortgage Systems," MPRA Paper 35301, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  20. Elod Takats, 2010. "Ageing and asset prices," BIS Working Papers 318, Bank for International Settlements.
  21. Ryan Fox & Richard Finlay, 2012. "Dwelling Prices and Household Income," RBA Bulletin, Reserve Bank of Australia, pages 13-22, December.

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