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Spatial Lock-in: Do Falling House Prices Constrain Residential Mobility?

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  • Sewin Chan

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    (Rutgers University)

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    Abstract

    Falling house prices have caused numerous home owners to suffer capital losses. Those with little home equity may be prevented from moving because proceeds from the sale of their house are insufficient to repay their mortgage and provide a new down payment. A data set of mortgages is used to examine the magnitude of these constraints. Estimates show that average mobility would have been 24% higher after four years, had real house prices increased at 1980s rates, and 10% higher if house values had merely kept up with inflation. Among those with high initial loan-to-values, the differences are even greater.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Rutgers University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 199816.

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    Date of creation: 06 Aug 1998
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    Handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:199816

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    Keywords: lock-in; mobility; mortgages;

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    1. Engelhardt, Gary V, 1996. "Consumption, Down Payments, and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(2), pages 255-71, May.
    2. Brigitte C. Madrian, 1993. "Employment-Based Health Insurance and Job Mobility: Is There Evidence ofJob-Lock?," NBER Working Papers 4476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    8. Brueckner, Jan K, 1997. "Consumption and Investment Motives and the Portfolio Choices of Homeowners," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 159-80, October.
    9. DaVanzo, Julie, 1978. "Does Unemployment Affect Migration?-Evidence from Micro Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(4), pages 504-14, November.
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    14. Brueckner Jan K., 1994. "Borrower Mobility, Adverse Selection, and Mortgage Points," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 416-441, September.
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    16. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle.
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    18. Andrew Caplin & Charles Freeman & Joseph Tracy, 1993. "Collateral Damage: How Refinancing Constraints Exacerbate Regional Recessions," NBER Working Papers 4531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Andrew Caplin & Sewin Chan & Charles Freeman & Joseph Tracy, 1997. "Housing Partnerships: A New Approach to a Market at a Crossroads," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262032430, December.
    20. Peter M. Zorn, 1989. "Mobility-Tenure Decisions and Financial Credit: Do Mortgage Qualification Requirements Constrain Homeownership?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 17(1), pages 1-16.
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    Cited by:
    1. Andrew Carswell, 2009. "Does Housing Counseling Change Consumer Financial Behaviors? Evidence from Philadelphia," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 339-356, December.

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