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Explaining Refinancing Decisions Using Microdata


  • Amy Dickinson
  • Andrea J. Heuson


This paper develops a model which explains how mortgage-rate movements, transactions costs, changes in borrower income and house value, personal financial opportunities and the prepayment option embedded in fixed-rate mortgages affect a financially flexible borrower's decision to refinance an existing loan while retaining the underlying home. Broadening the focus of previous analytical work, the model explains why households with similar mortgage loans may react differently as financial market conditions change. It contains definitive empirical predictions that are supported by an analysis of a choice-based sample of individual loan transactions. Results suggest that refinancings are motivated both by movements in the level of interest rates and by borrowers' desires to alter their capital structures in the face of changing income and housing wealth. Copyright American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Amy Dickinson & Andrea J. Heuson, 1993. "Explaining Refinancing Decisions Using Microdata," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 21(3), pages 293-311.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:21:y:1993:i:3:p:293-311

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Weil, David N., 1989. "The baby boom, the baby bust, and the housing market," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 235-258, May.
    2. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The behavior of home buyers in boom and post-boom markets," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Nov, pages 29-46.
    3. Case, Karl E & Shiller, Robert J, 1989. "The Efficiency of the Market for Single-Family Homes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 125-137, March.
    4. Cutler, David M & Poterba, James M & Summers, Lawrence H, 1990. "Speculative Dynamics and the Role of Feedback Traders," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 63-68, May.
    5. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1988. "Dividend yields and expected stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-25, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Archer, Wayne R. & Ling, David C. & McGill, Gary A., 1996. "The effect of income and collateral constraints on residential mortgage terminations," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 235-261, June.
    2. Archer, Wayne R. & Ling, David C. & McGill, Gary A., 1997. "Demographic versus Option-Driven Mortgage Terminations," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 137-163, June.
    3. Lee, Pei-Ting & Rosenfield, Donald B., 2005. "When to refinance a mortgage: A dynamic programming approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 166(1), pages 266-277, October.
    4. Lee, Jinkook & Hogarth, Jeanne M., 2000. "Consumer information search for home mortgages: who, what, how much, and what else?," Financial Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 277-293, 00.

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