The housing meltdown: Why did it happen in the United States?
AbstractThe 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.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Bank for International Settlements in its series BIS Working Papers with number 259.
Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
housing construction; housing prices; mortgage delinquencies; mortgage markets; subprime;
Other versions of this item:
- Luci Ellis, 2010. "The Housing Meltdown: Why Did It Happen in the United States?," International Real Estate Review, Asian Real Estate Society, vol. 13(3), pages 351-394.
- L85 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Real Estate Services
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Adam B. Ashcraft & Til Schuermann, 2008.
"Understanding the securitization of subprime mortgage credit,"
318, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- 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.
- Yongheng Deng & John M. Quigley & Robert Van Order, 1995.
"Mortgage Default and Low Downpayment Loans: The Costs of Public Subsidy,"
NBER Working Papers
5184, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Deng, Yongheng & Quigley, John M. & Van Order, Robert & Mac, Freddie, 1996. "Mortgage default and low downpayment loans: The costs of public subsidy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 263-285, June.
- Burkhard Drees & Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, 1995.
"The Nordic Banking Crises,"
IMF Working Papers
95/61, International Monetary Fund.
- Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005.
"Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals, and Misperceptions,"
NBER Working Papers
11643, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals and Misperceptions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 67-92, Fall.
- Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing high house prices: bubbles, fundamentals, and misperceptions," Staff Reports 218, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Glaeser, Edward & Saiz, Albert & Gyourko, Joseph, 2008.
"Housing Supply and Housing Bubbles,"
2962640, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2003. "The impact of building restrictions on housing affordability," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jun, pages 21-39.
- Benjamin J. Keys & Tanmoy Mukherjee & Amit Seru & Vikrant Vig, 2010. "Did Securitization Lead to Lax Screening? Evidence from Subprime Loans," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 307-362, February.
- Kerry D. Vandell & Thomas Thibodeau, 1985. "Estimation of Mortgage Defaults Using Disaggregate Loan History Data," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 13(3), pages 292-316.
- Paul S. Mills & John Kiff, 2007. "Money for Nothing and Checks for Free," IMF Working Papers 07/188, International Monetary Fund.
- Richard K. Green & Susan M. Wachter, 2005.
"The American Mortgage in Historical and International Context,"
9094, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
- Richard K. Green & Susan M. Wachter, 2005. "The American Mortgage in Historical and International Context," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 93-114, Fall.
- Luci Ellis, 2006. "Housing and Housing Finance: The View from Australia and Beyond," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2006-12, Reserve Bank of Australia.
- Robert Wade, 2008. "The First-World Debt Crisis of 2007-2010 in Global Perspective," Challenge, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 51(4), pages 23-54, July.
- Laura Berger-Thomson & Luci Ellis, 2004.
"Housing Construction Cycles and Interest Rates,"
RBA Research Discussion Papers
rdp2004-08, Reserve Bank of Australia.
- Christopher J. Mayer & Gary V. Engelhardt, 1994. "Gifts, down payments, and housing affordability," Working Papers 94-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Yuliya Demyanyk & Otto Van Hemert, 2007. "Understanding the subprime mortgage crisis," Supervisory Policy Analysis Working Papers 2007-05, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
- James F. Epperson & James B. Kau & Donald C. Keenan & Walter J. Muller, 1985. "Pricing Default Risk in Mortgages," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 13(3), pages 261-272.
- Dell''Ariccia, Giovanni & Igan, Deniz & Laeven, Luc, 2008.
"Credit Booms and Lending Standards: Evidence From The Subprime Mortgage Market,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
6683, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Giovanni Dell’Ariccia & Deniz Igan & Luc Laeven, 2012. "Credit Booms and Lending Standards: Evidence from the Subprime Mortgage Market," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44, pages 367-384, 03.
- Dell’Ariccia, G. & Igan, D. & Laeven, L., 2009. "Credit Booms and Lending Standards: Evidence from the Subprime Mortgage Market," Discussion Paper 2009-46 S, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Allen Frankel & Jacob Gyntelberg & Kristian Kjeldsen & Mattias Persson, 2004. "The Danish mortgage market," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
- Christopher J. Mayer & Karen Pence, 2008. "Subprime Mortgages: What, Where, and to Whom?," NBER Working Papers 14083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Diaz-Serrano, Luis, 2005. "Income volatility and residential mortgage delinquency across the EU," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 153-177, September.
- Christopher L. Foote & Kristopher Gerardi & Paul S. Willen, 2008.
"Negative equity and foreclosure: theory and evidence,"
Public Policy Discussion Paper
08-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- 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.
- Paul van den Noord & Chistopher Heady, 2001. "Surveillance of Tax Policies: A Synthesis of Findings in Economic Surveys," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 303, OECD Publishing.
- Benito, Andrew, 2006. "The down-payment constraint and UK housing market: Does the theory fit the facts?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-20, March.
- 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).
- Elod Takats, 2010. "Ageing and asset prices," BIS Working Papers 318, Bank for International Settlements.
- 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.
- 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.
- Musso, Alberto & Neri, Stefano & Stracca, Livio, 2011.
"Housing, consumption and monetary policy: How different are the US and the euro area?,"
Journal of Banking & Finance,
Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 3019-3041, November.
- 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.
- Alberto Musso & Stefano Neri & Livio Stracca, 2011. "Housing, consumption and monetary policy: how different are the U.S. and the euro area?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 807, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- 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.
- 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.
- Luci Ellis, 2008. "How many in negative equity? The role of mortgage contract characteristics," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Altunbas, Yener & Gambacorta, Leonardo & Marqués-Ibáñez, David, 2010.
"Does monetary policy affect bank risk-taking?,"
Working Paper Series
1166, European Central Bank.
- 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.
- Ryan Fox & Richard Finlay, 2012. "Dwelling Prices and Household Income," RBA Bulletin, Reserve Bank of Australia, pages 13-22, December.
- Dilyana Dimova, 2012. "The Role of Consumer Leverage in Generating Financial Crises," Economics Series Working Papers 631, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Orlean, André, 2009. "De l'euphorie à la panique : penser la crise financière," Opuscules du CEPREMAP, CEPREMAP, number 16, May.
- 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.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Timo Laurmaa).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.