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Did local lenders forecast the bust? Evidence from the real estate market


  • Kristle Romero Cortés


This paper shows that mortgage lenders with a physical branch near the property being financed have better information about home-price fundamentals than nonlocal lenders. During the real estate run-up from 2002-06, home price growth negatively correlates with the share of loans made by local lenders, namely lenders with a branch in the respective county. Moreover, home prices fell less from 2006-09 in areas where more of the loans were made by local lenders. California foreclosure rates during the crisis are negatively correlated with local lending during the run-up. A 1 standard deviation increase in local loans is associated with 5 fewer foreclosures for every 1,000 houses. When local lenders retain loans for their portfolio rather than securitizing, the results for both home price growth and foreclosures are even stronger.

Suggested Citation

  • Kristle Romero Cortés, 2012. "Did local lenders forecast the bust? Evidence from the real estate market," Working Paper 1226, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:1226

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jith Jayaratne & Philip E. Strahan, 1996. "The Finance-Growth Nexus: Evidence from Bank Branch Deregulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 639-670.
    2. Glaeser, Edward L. & Gyourko, Joseph & Saiz, Albert, 2008. "Housing supply and housing bubbles," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 198-217, September.
    3. Berger, Allen N. & Miller, Nathan H. & Petersen, Mitchell A. & Rajan, Raghuram G. & Stein, Jeremy C., 2005. "Does function follow organizational form? Evidence from the lending practices of large and small banks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 237-269, May.
    4. Kristopher S. Gerardi & Adam Hale Shapiro & Paul S. Willen, 2007. "Subprime outcomes: risky mortgages, homeownership experiences, and foreclosures," Working Papers 07-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    5. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2009. "The Consequences of Mortgage Credit Expansion: Evidence from the U.S. Mortgage Default Crisis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1449-1496.
    6. Lerner, Josh, 1995. " Venture Capitalists and the Oversight of Private Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 301-318, March.
    7. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2002. "Does Distance Still Matter? The Information Revolution in Small Business Lending," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2533-2570, December.
    8. Elena Loutskina & Philip E. Strahan, 2009. "Securitization and the Declining Impact of Bank Finance on Loan Supply: Evidence from Mortgage Originations," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(2), pages 861-889, April.
    9. Ozgur Emre Ergungor, 2010. "Bank Branch Presence and Access to Credit in Low- to Moderate-Income Neighborhoods," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(7), pages 1321-1349, October.
    10. Benjamin J. Keys & Tanmoy Mukherjee & Amit Seru & Vikrant Vig, 2010. "Did Securitization Lead to Lax Screening? Evidence from Subprime Loans," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 307-362.
    11. Uday Rajan & Amit Seru & Vikrant Vig, 2010. "Statistical Default Models and Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 506-510, May.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. US local lenders knew about the housing bubble
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-04-30 18:57:00

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    Mortgage loans ; Foreclosure ; Housing;

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