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Repairing a Mortgage Crisis: HOLC Lending and its Impact on Local Housing Markets

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  • Charles Courtemanche
  • Kenneth A. Snowden

Abstract

The Home Owners’ Loan Corporation purchased more than a million delinquent mortgages from private lenders between 1933 and 1936 and refinanced the loans for the borrowers. Its primary goal was to break the cycle of foreclosure, forced property sales and decreases in home values that was affecting local housing markets throughout the nation. We find that HOLC loans were targeted at local (county-level) housing markets that had experienced severe distress and that the intervention increased 1940 median home values and homeownership rates, but not new home building.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16245.

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Date of creation: Jul 2010
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Publication status: published as Courtemanche, Charles & Snowden, Kenneth, 2011. "Repairing a Mortgage Crisis: HOLC Lending and Its Impact on Local Housing Markets," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 71(02), pages 307-337, June.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16245

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  1. Kenneth A. Snowden, 2010. "The Anatomy of a Residential Mortgage Crisis: A Look Back to the 1930s," NBER Working Papers 16244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Price V. Fishback & Shawn Kantor & John Joseph Wallis, 2002. "Can the New Deal's Three R's Be Rehabilitated? A Program-by-Program, County-by-County Analysis," NBER Working Papers 8903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Snowden, Kenneth A, 1997. "Building and loan associations in the U.S., 1880-1893: the origins of localization in the residential mortgage market," Research in Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 227-250, September.
  4. David C. Wheelock, 2008. "The federal response to home mortgage distress: lessons from the Great Depression," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 133-148.
  5. O. Emre Ergungor, 2007. "On the resolution of financial crises: the Swedish experience," Policy Discussion Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Jun.
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Cited by:
  1. Jonathan D. Rose, 2012. "The prolonged resolution of troubled real estate lenders during the 1930s," Finance and Economics Discussion Series, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 2012-31, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Agustin Benetrix & Barry Eichengreen & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2011. "How Housing Slumps End," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series, IIIS iiisdp384, IIIS.
  3. Eugene N. White, 2009. "Lessons from the Great American Real Estate Boom and Bust of the 1920s," NBER Working Papers 15573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jonathan D. Rose, 2013. "The Prolonged Resolution of Troubled Real Estate Lenders during the 1930s," NBER Chapters, in: Housing and Mortgage Markets in Historical Perspective, pages 245-284 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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