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High Leverage and Willingness to Pay: Evidence from the Residential Housing Market

  • Ben-David, Itzhak

    (OH State University)

In pursuit of understanding the mechanism that relates the expansion in credit to the increase in real-estate prices during the real-estate bubble, I explore transaction-level data for 1994-2008. I document a strong correlation between borrowing at high leverage (>95% loan to value) and paying the full listing price or above. Homebuyers in these transactions pay prices that are higher than market prices by 3.4% ($5,700 on average) and they are 22.7% more likely to default on their mortgages, relative to other highly leveraged borrowers. The correlation between leverage and paying high prices is stronger beyond what a mechanical relation predicts: there is a discontinuity in the average leverage around the full listing price. The correlation is stronger for financially constrained and unsophisticated homebuyers, and in areas of high past price growth (indicative of buyer optimism). The study highlights the importance of buyer sophistication, financial constraints, and beliefs in determining prices and leverage.

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File URL: http://fisher.osu.edu/supplements/10/10471/20110914%20Leverage%20and%20prices.cvpg.2011-17.pdf
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Paper provided by Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2011-17.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:ohidic:2011-17
Contact details of provider: Phone: (614) 292-8449
Web page: http://www.cob.ohio-state.edu/fin/dice/list.htm
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  1. Itzhak Ben-David, 2011. "Financial Constraints and Inflated Home Prices during the Real Estate Boom," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 55-87, July.
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  18. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2009. "The Consequences of Mortgage Credit Expansion: Evidence from the U.S. Mortgage Default Crisis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1449-1496, November.
  19. Brent W. Ambrose & Charles A. Capone, 1998. "Modeling the Conditional Probability of Foreclosure in the Context of Single-Family Mortgage Default Resolutions," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 26(3), pages 391-429.
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  22. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 2003. "Is There a Bubble in the Housing Market?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(2), pages 299-362.
  23. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2011. "Anatomy of the Beginning of the Housing Boom: U.S. Neighborhoods and Metropolitan Areas, 1993-2009," NBER Working Papers 17374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Mark J. Garmaise, 2003. "Informal Financial Networks: Theory and Evidence," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 16(4), pages 1007-1040.
  25. Jose A. Scheinkman & Wei Xiong, 2003. "Overconfidence and Speculative Bubbles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1183-1219, December.
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