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Lending Through the Cycle: The Federal Housing Administration’s Evolving Risk in the Primary Market

  • Brent Smith


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    Utilizing a sample of loan originations, the distribution of the market served by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and conventional lenders is modeled through this current cycle. Results indicate that FHA market shares in the early years of the observation period (2003 through 2006) are concentrated in zip codes with higher economic risk characteristics and obtained by high risk borrowers. FHA is forced to accept lower quality loans as competition from more nimble private lenders with lower access hurdles and more rapid processing expanded into markets traditionally served by FHA. Unexpectedly, the analysis also reveals that the distribution of FHA loans fails to exhibit a targeted racial bias toward neighborhoods with African American Concentration. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2012

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    Article provided by International Atlantic Economic Society in its journal Atlantic Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 40 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 253-271

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:40:y:2012:i:3:p:253-271
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    1. Anthony Pennington-Cross & Joseph Nichols, 2000. "Credit History and the FHA-Conventional Choice," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 28(2), pages 307-336.
    2. Hendershott, Patric H. & LaFayette, William C. & Haurin, Donald R., 1997. "Debt Usage and Mortgage Choice: The FHA-Conventional Decision," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 202-217, March.
    3. Diego Aragon & Andrew Caplin & Sumit Chopra & John V. Leahy & Yann LeCun & Marco Scoffier & Joseph Tracy, 2010. "Reassessing FHA Risk," NBER Working Papers 15802, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Peter Linneman & Susan Wachter, 1989. "The Impacts of Borrowing Constraints on Homeownership," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 17(4), pages 389-402.
    5. Joseph Nichols & Anthony Pennington-Cross & Anthony Yezer, 2004. "Borrower Self-Selection, Underwriting Costs, and Subprime Mortgage Credit Supply," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 197-219, November.
    6. Ambrose, Brent W. & Pennington-Cross, Anthony, 2000. "Local economic risk factors and the primary and secondary mortgage markets," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 683-701, December.
    7. Paul S. Calem & Kevin Gillen & Susan Wachter, 2004. "The Neighborhood Distribution of Subprime Mortgage Lending," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 393-410, December.
    8. Wayne R. Archer & Brent C. Smith, 2010. "Residential mortgage default: the roles of house price volatility, euphoria and the borrower's put option," Working Paper 10-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    9. Goodman, John Jr. & Nichols, Joseph B., 1997. "Does FHA Increase Home Ownership or Just Accelerate It?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 184-202, June.
    10. Karen M. Pence, 2006. "Foreclosing on Opportunity: State Laws and Mortgage Credit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 177-182, February.
    11. Susanne Cannon & Norman G. Miller & Gurupdesh S. Pandher, 2006. "Risk and Return in the U.S. Housing Market: A Cross-Sectional Asset-Pricing Approach," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 34(4), pages 519-552, December.
    12. John Karikari & Ioan Voicu & Irene Fang, 2011. "FHA vs. Subprime Mortgage Originations: Is FHA the Answer to Subprime Lending?," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 43(4), pages 441-458, November.
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