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Risks and Incentives in Underserved Mortgage Markets

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  • Ambrose, Brent W.
  • Goetzmann, William N.

Abstract

Subsidized loans may help increase home ownership in low income neighborhoods with positive social benefits, however there are risks and costs to the homeowners themselves. Home ownership increases incentives to maintain property and neighborhood, as well as decreasing the outflow of rents from low-income zones. These benefits, however are not costless to participants. With a mortgage comes the possibility of a default, the financial demands of maintenance, the reduction in alternate investment opportunities, an increased exposure to fluctuations in local economic conditions, and a drastic reduction in the liquidity of personal wealth. In this paper we examine the role of the owner-occupied house in the asset allocation decision of a family living in an area characterized as a low income neighborhood. We find that the current subsidies are likely to be too low relative to the costs. In particular, the tax law makes home ownership relatively less attractive to low-income families. This may explain a lack of home-ownership and thus, mortgage lending in low-income neighborhoods.
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Suggested Citation

  • Ambrose, Brent W. & Goetzmann, William N., 1998. "Risks and Incentives in Underserved Mortgage Markets," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 274-285, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhouse:v:7:y:1998:i:3:p:274-285
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    Cited by:

    1. William Goetzmann & Matthew Spiegel, 2000. "The Policy Implications of Portfolio Choice in Underserved Mortgage Markets," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm161, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Mar 2001.
    2. Di, Zhu Xiao & Belsky, Eric & Liu, Xiaodong, 2007. "Do homeowners achieve more household wealth in the long run?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 274-290, November.
    3. Ambrose, Brent W. & Diop, Moussa, 2014. "Spillover effects of subprime mortgage originations: The effects of single-family mortgage credit expansion on the multifamily rental market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 114-135.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

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