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Foreclosure externalities: New evidence

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  • Gerardi, Kristopher
  • Rosenblatt, Eric
  • Willen, Paul S.
  • Yao, Vincent

Abstract

Policy makers have used externalities to justify government intervention in the foreclosure process. Using a new dataset that covers 15 of the largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. and a novel identification strategy, this paper provides new evidence on the size and source of these externalities. Our results show that a property in distress affects the value of neighboring properties from the time when the borrower becomes seriously delinquent on the mortgage until well after the bank sells the property to a new owner. Properties with seriously delinquent loans within 0.1miles are found to decrease transaction prices of non-distressed properties by approximately one percent on average. The spillovers are found to dissipate rapidly with distance and completely disappear one year after the bank sells the property to a new homeowner. Importantly, we find that the size of the externality is sensitive to the condition of foreclosed properties, as bank-owned properties in poor condition lower nearby transaction prices by 2.6% on average while those in good condition marginally raise prices. We argue that the measured price spillovers are physical externalities caused by a lack of property maintenance and not pecuniary externalities that reflect local supply or demand shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerardi, Kristopher & Rosenblatt, Eric & Willen, Paul S. & Yao, Vincent, 2015. "Foreclosure externalities: New evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 42-56.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:87:y:2015:i:c:p:42-56
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2015.02.004
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