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Subprime mortgages, foreclosures, and urban neighborhoods

  • Kristopher S. Gerardi
  • Paul S. Willen

This paper analyzes the impact of the subprime mortgage crisis on urban neighborhoods in Massachusetts. We explore the topic using a data set that matches race and income information from Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data with property-level, transaction data from Massachusetts Registry of Deeds offices. With these data, we show that much of the subprime lending in the state was concentrated in urban neighborhoods and that minority homeownerships created with subprime mortgages have proved exceptionally unstable in the face of rapid price declines. The evidence in Massachusetts suggests that subprime lending did not, as commonly believed, lead to a substantial increase in homeownership by minorities but instead generated turnover in properties owned by minority residents. Furthermore, we argue that the particularly dire foreclosure situation in urban neighborhoods actually makes it somewhat easier for policymakers to provide remedies.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. with number 2009-01.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2009-01
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  7. Deng, Yongheng & Quigley, John M. & Van Order, Robert, 1999. "Mortgage Terminations, Heterogeneity, and the Exercise of Mortgage Options," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt96r560pg, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
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  17. Paul S. Willen & Adam Hale Shapiro & Kristopher Gerardi, 2008. "Subprime Outcomes: Risky Mortgages, Homeownership Experiences, and Foreclosures," 2008 Meeting Papers 345, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  18. Denise DiPasquale & Edward L. Glaeser, 1998. "Incentives and Social Capital: Are Homeowners Better Citizens?," NBER Working Papers 6363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  20. Keith D. Harvey & Peter J. Nigro, 2004. "Do Predatory Lending Laws Influence Mortgage Lending? An Analysis of the North Carolina Predatory Lending Law," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 435-456, December.
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