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Spatial Heterogeneity in Mortgage Terminations by Refinance, Sale and Default

  • Yongheng Deng
  • Andrey D. Pavlov
  • Lihong Yang

This article investigates the impact of spatially correlated unobservable variables on the refinancing, selling and default decisions of mortgage borrowers. Virtually the entire mortgage literature acknowledges that borrower-specific characteristics, such as culture, education or access to information, play an important role in mortgage termination decisions. While we do not observe these variables directly, we note that borrowers of similar background tend to cluster together in neighborhoods. We estimate a competing risks hazard model with random effects using a three-stage maximum likelihood estimation approach. We utilize the space-varying coefficient method to modify the covariance structure according to the spatial distribution of the observations. Beyond a significant improvement of the model performance, this yields a number of insightful implications for mortgage termination behavior. For instance, borrowers of the affluent "West Side" of Los Angeles County both refinance and move at a higher rate than predicted by the standard maximum likelihood estimation method. At the same time, borrowers from some lower-valued neighborhoods tend to stay longer than expected with their mortgages and properties. Copyright 2005 by the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association

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Article provided by American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association in its journal Real Estate Economics.

Volume (Year): 33 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 739-764

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Handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:33:y:2005:i:4:p:739-764
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  1. Capone, Charles A, Jr, 2001. "Introduction to the Special Issue on Mortgage Modeling," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 131-37, September.
  2. Pavlov, Andrey D, 2001. "Competing Risks of Mortgage Termination: Who Refinances, Who Moves, and Who Defaults?," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 185-211, September.
  3. Andrey D. Pavlov, 2000. "Space-Varying Regression Coefficients: A Semi-parametric Approach Applied to Real Estate Markets," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 28(2), pages 249-283.
  4. Kau, James B, et al, 1995. "The Valuation at Origination of Fixed-Rate Mortgages with Default and Prepayment," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 5-36, July.
  5. John M. Clapp & Gerson M. Goldberg & John P. Harding & Michael LaCour-Little, 2001. "Movers and Shuckers: Interdependent Prepayment Decisions," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 29(3), pages 411-450.
  6. 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.
  7. Quigley, John M, 1987. "Interest Rate Variations, Mortgage Prepayments and Household Mobility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(4), pages 636-43, November.
  8. Stanton, Richard Henry, 1996. "Unobservable Heterogeneity and Rational Learning: Pool-Specific versus Generic Mortgage-Backed Security Prices," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 243-63, May.
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