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The Neighborhood Distribution of Subprime Mortgage Lending


  • Paul S. Calem
  • Kevin Gillen
  • Susan Wachter


Subprime lending in the residential mortgage market, characterized by relatively high credit risk and interest rates or fees, has developed over the past decade into a prominent segment of the market (Temkin, 2000). Recent research indicates that there is geographical concentration of subprime mortgages in Census tracts where there are high concentrations of low-income and minority households. The growth in subprime lending represents an expansion in the supply of mortgage credit among households who do not meet prime market underwriting standards. Nonetheless, its apparent concentration in minority and lower income neighborhoods has generated concerns that these households may not be obtaining equal opportunity in the prime mortgage market. Such lending may undermine revitalization to the extent that it is associated with so-called predatory practices.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrefec:v:29:y:2004:i:4:p:393-410

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