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Spatial Variation in Reverse Mortgages Usage: House Price Dynamics and Consumer Selection

Listed author(s):
  • Donald Haurin

    ()

    (The Ohio State University)

  • Chao Ma

    (The Ohio State University)

  • Stephanie Moulton

    (The Ohio State University)

  • Maximilian Schmeiser

    (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

  • Jason Seligman

    (The Ohio State University)

  • Wei Shi

    (The Ohio State University)

Abstract Reverse mortgages have been obtained by nearly one million senior households. In the future, the number of eligible households will grow substantially, about 80 % are homeowners, and many of them have substantial equity in their home. We study state-level variations in rate of originations of HUD’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) product. Our focus is on the impact of house prices on the origination rate. We test the hypothesis that in states where real house prices are volatile and the current level is above the long term norm, seniors rationally anticipate future reductions in house prices and lock-in their housing equity gains by obtaining a reverse mortgage. We test alternative hypotheses, the first being that seniors living in states with high rates of house price appreciation increase their use of HECMs as a means to convert an illiquid wealth capital gain into a more liquid asset. A second alternative hypothesis is that the intertemporal changes in originations of HECMs were a result of changes in the supply of mortgage originators. Our empirical work supports the hypothesis that seniors used HECMs to insure against house price declines, but we find no evidence in support of the alternative hypotheses.

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File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s11146-014-9463-2
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Article provided by Springer in its journal The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics.

Volume (Year): 53 (2016)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 392-417

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jrefec:v:53:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s11146-014-9463-2
DOI: 10.1007/s11146-014-9463-2
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Order Information: Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/regional+science/journal/11146/PS2

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  1. Greenhalgh-Stanley, Nadia, 2012. "Medicaid and the housing and asset decisions of the elderly: Evidence from estate recovery programs," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 210-224.
  2. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller & Anne K. Thompson, 2012. "What Have They Been Thinking? Homebuyer Behavior in Hot and Cold Markets," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 43(2 (Fall)), pages 265-315.
  3. Venti, Steven F. & Wise, David A., 1991. "Aging and the income value of housing wealth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 371-397, April.
  4. Bradford Case & Ann B. Schnare, 1994. "Preliminary Evaluation of the HECM Reverse Mortgage Program," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 22(2), pages 301-346.
  5. Hui Shan, 2011. "Reversing the Trend: The Recent Expansion of the Reverse Mortgage Market," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 39(4), pages 743-768, December.
  6. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2011. "House Prices, Home Equity-Based Borrowing, and the US Household Leverage Crisis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2132-2156, August.
  7. Todd Sinai & Nicholas Souleles, 2013. "Can Owning a Home Hedge the Risk of Moving?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 282-312, May.
  8. Christopher J. Mayer & Katerina V. Simons, 1994. "Reverse Mortgages and the Liquidity of Housing Wealth," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 22(2), pages 235-255.
  9. Irina A. Telyukova & Makoto Nakajima, 2011. "Reverse Mortgage Loans: A Quantitative Analysis," 2011 Meeting Papers 387, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Purvi Sevak & Lucie Schmidt, 2011. "Macroeconomic Conditions and Updating of Expectations by Older Americans," Working Papers wp259, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
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