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Choice of Mortgage Contracts: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances

  • Brahima Coulibaly
  • Geng Li
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This study revisits the empirical question of the determinants of the choice between fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances that overcome some of the data limitations in previous studies. The results from a logit model of mortgage choice indicate that pricing variables and affordability are important considerations. We also find that factors, such as mobility expectations, income volatility and attitudes toward financial risk largely influence mortgage choice, with more risk-averse borrowers preferring fixed-rate mortgages. For households that are less risk averse, the mortgage type choice decision is less sensitive to pricing variables and income volatility, and affordability factors are not significant. These findings provide empirical support that underscores the importance of attitudes toward risks in mortgage choice. Copyright (c) 2009 American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1540-6229.2009.00259.x
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Article provided by American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association in its journal Real Estate Economics.

Volume (Year): 37 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 659-673

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Handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:37:y:2009:i:4:p:659-673
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  1. Campbell, John & Cocco, Joao, 2003. "Household Risk Management and Optimal Mortgage Choice," Scholarly Articles 3157876, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Brian Bucks & Karen Pence, 2006. "Do homeowners know their house values and mortgage terms?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Donald J. Smith, 1987. "The Borrower's Choice between Fixed and Adjustable Rate Loan Contracts," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 15(2), pages 110-116.
  4. Baesel, Jerome B. & Biger, Nahum, 1980. "The Allocation of Risk: Some Implications of Fixed versus Index-Linked Mortgages," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(02), pages 457-468, June.
  5. Alm, James & Follain, James R., 1984. "Alternative Mortgage Instruments, the Tilt Problem, and Consumer Welfare," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(01), pages 113-126, March.
  6. Nothaft, Frank E & Wang, George H K, 1992. "Determinants of the ARM Share of National and Regional Lending," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 219-34, June.
  7. Barsky, Robert B, et al, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-79, May.
  8. Sa-Aadu, J & Sirmans, C F, 1995. "Differentiated Contracts, Heterogeneous Borrowers, and the Mortgage Choice Decision," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(2), pages 498-510, May.
  9. Brueckner, Jan K & Follain, James R, 1988. "The Rise and Fall of the ARM: An Econometric Analysis of Mortgage Choice," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 93-102, February.
  10. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1995. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Dhillon, Upinder S & Shilling, James D & Sirmans, C F, 1987. "Choosing between Fixed and Adjustable Rate Mortgages: A Note," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 19(2), pages 260-67, May.
  12. Statman, Meir, 1982. "Fixed Rate or Index-Linked Mortgages from the Borrower's Point of View: A Note," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(03), pages 451-457, September.
  13. Stanton, Richard & Wallace, Nancy, 1999. "Anatomy of an ARM: The Interest-Rate Risk of Adjustable-Rate Mortgages," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 49-67, July.
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