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An empirical test of a two-factor mortgage valuation model: how much do house prices matter?

  • Chris Downing
  • Richard Stanton
  • Nancy Wallace
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    Mortgage-backed securities, with their relative structural simplicity and their lack of recovery rate uncertainty if default occurs, are particularly suitable for developing and testing risky debt valuation models. In this paper, we develop a two-factor structural mortgage pricing model in which rational mortgage-holders endogenously choose when to prepay and default subject to i. explicit frictions (transaction costs) payable when terminating their mortgages, ii. exogenous background terminations, and iii. a credit-related impact of the loan-to-value ratio (LTV) on prepayment. We estimate the model using pool-level mortgage termination data for Freddie Mac Participation Certificates, and find that the effect of the house price factor on the results is both statistically and economically significant. Out-of-sample estimates of MBS prices produce option adjusted spreads of between 5 and 25 basis points, well within quoted values for these securities.

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    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2003-42.

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    Date of creation: 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2003-42
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    1. Longstaff, Francis A & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1995. " A Simple Approach to Valuing Risky Fixed and Floating Rate Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(3), pages 789-819, July.
    2. Kau, James B, et al, 1995. "The Valuation at Origination of Fixed-Rate Mortgages with Default and Prepayment," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 5-36, July.
    3. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G, 1981. "Several Tests for Model Specification in the Presence of Alternative Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 781-93, May.
    4. David Genesove & Christopher J. Mayer, 1994. "Equity and Time to Sale in the Real Estate Market," NBER Working Papers 4861, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Duffie, Darrell & Lando, David, 2001. "Term Structures of Credit Spreads with Incomplete Accounting Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(3), pages 633-64, May.
    6. Wayne Archer & David C. Ling & Gary A. McGill, 1995. "The Effect of Income and Collateral Constraints on Residential Mortgage Terminations," NBER Working Papers 5180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Schwartz, Eduardo S & Torous, Walter N, 1989. " Prepayment and the Valuation of Mortgage-Backed Securities," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(2), pages 375-92, June.
    8. Leland, Hayne E & Toft, Klaus Bjerre, 1996. " Optimal Capital Structure, Endogenous Bankruptcy, and the Term Structure of Credit Spreads," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(3), pages 987-1019, July.
    9. Stein, Jeremy C, 1995. "Prices and Trading Volume in the Housing Market: A Model with Down-Payment Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 379-406, May.
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    13. Andrew Caplin & Charles Freeman & Joseph Tracy, 1993. "Collateral Damage: How Refinancing Constraints Exacerbate Regional Recessions," NBER Working Papers 4531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Sean Becketti & Charles S. Morris, 1990. "The prepayment experience of FNMA mortgage-backed securities," Research Working Paper 90-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    15. Gregory R. Duffee, 1998. "The Relation Between Treasury Yields and Corporate Bond Yield Spreads," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 2225-2241, December.
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    17. Yongheng Deng & John M. Quigley, 2003. "Woodhead Behavior and the Pricing of Residential Mortgages," Working Paper 8616, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
    18. Hayne E. Leland., 1994. "Corporate Debt Value, Bond Covenants, and Optimal Capital Structure," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-233, University of California at Berkeley.
    19. Yongheng Deng & John M. Quigley & Robert Van Order, . "Mortgage Terminations, Heterogeneity and the Exercise of Mortgage Options," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 322, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
    20. Kau, James B, et al, 1992. "A Generalized Valuation Model for Fixed-Rate Residential Mortgages," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 24(3), pages 279-99, August.
    21. Stanton, Richard Henry, 1996. "Unobservable Heterogeneity and Rational Learning: Pool-Specific versus Generic Mortgage-Backed Security Prices," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 243-63, May.
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