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Reverse Mortgages and the Liquidity of Housing Wealth

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  • Christopher J. Mayer
  • Katerina V. Simons

Abstract

Housing wealth constitutes most of the non-pension wealth of the elderly population. This study analyzes the potential of reverse mortgages to increase the income and liquid wealth of the elderly by identifying households with relatively high levels of housing equity. Because this article looks at the whole distribution of elderly households and considers debt as well as income, it finds a larger potential market for reverse mortgages than previous studies.Calculations from the 1990 Survey of Income and Program Participation and Census population estimates show that over six million homeowners in the United States could increase their effective monthly income by at least 20% by using a reverse mortgage. Of these, more than 1.3 million have no children. Furthermore, a reverse mortgage would allow over 1.4 million poor elderly persons to raise their incomes above the poverty line. Copyright American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher J. Mayer & Katerina V. Simons, 1994. "Reverse Mortgages and the Liquidity of Housing Wealth," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 22(2), pages 235-255.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:22:y:1994:i:2:p:235-255
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1989. "Aging, Moving, and Housing Wealth," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Aging, pages 9-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mitchell, Olivia S. & Piggott, John, 2004. "Unlocking housing equity in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 466-505, December.
    2. Hui Shan, 2011. "Reversing the Trend: The Recent Expansion of the Reverse Mortgage Market," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 39(4), pages 743-768, December.
    3. Declan French & Donal McKillop & Tripti Sharma, 2017. "Analysis of Housing Equity Withdrawal by its Forms," CHaRMS Working Papers 17-04, Centre for HeAlth Research at the Management School (CHaRMS).
    4. Geoffrey M. B. Tootell, 1996. "Can studies of application denials and mortgage defaults uncover taste-based discrimination?," Working Papers 96-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    5. Ruth Hancock, 1998. "Can housing wealth alleviate poverty among Britain's older population?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(3), pages 249-272, August.
    6. Ming Pu & Gang-Zhi Fan & Yongheng Deng, 2014. "Breakeven Determination of Loan Limits for Reverse Mortgages under Information Asymmetry," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 492-521, April.
    7. Dietz, Robert D. & Haurin, Donald R., 2003. "The social and private micro-level consequences of homeownership," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 401-450, November.
    8. Ngee-Choon Chia & Albert K C Tsui, 2005. "Reverse Mortgages as Retirement Financing Instrument : An Option for “Asset-rich and Cash-poor†Singaporeans," Finance Working Papers 22566, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    9. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2004. "Aging and Housing Equity: Another Look," NBER Chapters,in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 127-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. repec:eee:jhouse:v:38:y:2017:i:c:p:25-37 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Dillingh, Rik, 2016. "Empirical essays on behavioral economics and lifecycle decisions," Other publications TiSEM 0e2143e3-bd86-4302-90eb-e, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    12. Chiang, Shu Ling & Tsai, Ming Shann, 2016. "Analyzing an elder’s desire for a reverse mortgage using an economic model that considers house bequest motivation, random death time and stochastic house price," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 202-219.
    13. Neil Bhutta & Benjamin J. Keys, 2016. "Interest Rates and Equity Extraction during the Housing Boom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(7), pages 1742-1774, July.
    14. Ngee-Choon Chia & Albert K C Tsui, 2005. "Reverse Mortgages as Retirement Financing Instrument: An Option for “Asset-rich and Cash-poor” Singaporeans," SCAPE Policy Research Working Paper Series 0503, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics, SCAPE.
    15. repec:bla:asiaec:v:31:y:2017:i:2:p:187-210 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Davidoff, Thomas & Gerhard, Patrick & Post, Thomas, 2017. "Reverse mortgages: What homeowners (don’t) know and how it matters," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 151-171.
    17. Disney, Richard & Whitehouse, Edward, 2001. "Cross-country comparisons of pensioners’ incomes," MPRA Paper 16345, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Seungryul Ma & Yongheng Deng, 2006. "Insurance Premium Structure of Reverse Mortgage Loans in Korea," Working Paper 8568, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
    19. Donald Haurin & Chao Ma & Stephanie Moulton & Maximilian Schmeiser & Jason Seligman & Wei Shi, 2016. "Spatial Variation in Reverse Mortgages Usage: House Price Dynamics and Consumer Selection," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 53(3), pages 392-417, October.
    20. Joan Costa i Font & Joan Gil & Oscar Mascarilla MirÛ, "undated". "Preferencias de la poblaciÛn ante la financiaciÛn de la dependÈncia: La hipoteca inversa en Espana," Studies on the Spanish Economy 230, FEDEA.

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