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$1.25 Trillion is still real money : some facts about the effects of the Federal Reserve’s mortgage market investments

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  • Andreas Fuster
  • Paul S. Willen

Abstract

This paper measures the effects on the primary U.S. mortgage market of the large-scale asset purchase (LSAP) program in which the Federal Reserve bought $1.25 trillion of mortgage-backed securities in 2009 and 2010. We use an event-study approach and measure the movements in both prices and quantities around the initial announcement of the LSAP and subsequent changes to the program. We use a new dataset to document the changes in the menu of rates and points offered to borrowers and show that there was wide dispersion in the rate changes generated by the announcement of the LSAP program, with some borrowers seeing immediate rate reductions of up to 40 basis points and other borrowers confronting rate increases. We show that the LSAP program led to a substantial boost in market activity, with discontinuous increases in searches, applications and originations for refinance mortgages, but not purchase mortgages. Finally, we show that more creditworthy borrowers were significantly more likely to benefit from the improved credit availability.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Fuster & Paul S. Willen, 2010. "$1.25 Trillion is still real money : some facts about the effects of the Federal Reserve’s mortgage market investments," Public Policy Discussion Paper 10-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbpp:10-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Johannes C. Stroebel & John B. Taylor, 2009. "Estimated Impact of the Fed's Mortgage-Backed Securities Purchase Program," NBER Working Papers 15626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. John B. Taylor & John C. Williams, 2009. "A black swan in the money market," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jan.
    3. Ferreira, Fernando & Gyourko, Joseph & Tracy, Joseph, 2010. "Housing busts and household mobility," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 34-45, July.
    4. Caplin, Andrew & Freeman, Charles & Tracy, Joseph, 1997. "Collateral Damage: Refinancing Constraints and Regional Recessions," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(4), pages 496-516, November.
    5. Yongheng Deng & John M. Quigley, 2003. "Woodhead Behavior and the Pricing of Residential Mortgages," Working Paper 8616, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
    6. Campbell, Sean D. & Davis, Morris A. & Gallin, Joshua & Martin, Robert F., 2009. "What moves housing markets: A variance decomposition of the rent-price ratio," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 90-102, September.
    7. Joseph E. Gagnon & Matthew Raskin & Julie Remache & Brian P. Sack, 2011. "Large-scale asset purchases by the Federal Reserve: did they work?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 41-59.
    8. Glenn B. Canner & Karen E. Dynan & Wayne Passmore, 2002. "Mortgage refinancing in 2001 and early 2002," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Dec, pages 469-481.
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    Keywords

    Mortgage-backed securities;

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