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Do homeowners know their house values and mortgage terms?


  • Brian K. Bucks
  • Karen M. Pence


To assess whether homeowners know their house values and mortgage terms, we compare the distributions of these variables in the household-reported 2001 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) to the distributions in lender-reported data. We also examine the share of SCF respondents who report not knowing these variables. We find that most homeowners appear to report their house values and broad mortgage terms reasonably accurately. Some adjustable-rate mortgage borrowers, though, and especially those with below-median income, appear to underestimate or not know how much their interest rates could change.

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  • Brian K. Bucks & Karen M. Pence, 2006. "Do homeowners know their house values and mortgage terms?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2006-03

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Annamarie Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2005. "Financial Literacy and Planning: Implications for Retirement Wellbeing," Working Papers wp108, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    2. Marsha J. Courchane & Brian J. Surette & Peter M. Zorn, 2004. "Subprime Borrowers: Mortgage Transitions and Outcomes," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 365-392, December.
    3. Goodman, John Jr. & Ittner, John B., 1992. "The accuracy of home owners' estimates of house value," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 339-357, December.
    4. DiPasquale, Denise & Somerville, C. Tsuriel, 1995. "Do House Price Indices Based on Transacting Units Represent the Entire Stock? Evidence from the American Housing Survey," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 195-229, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Benítez-Silva, Hugo & Eren, Selçuk & Heiland, Frank & Jiménez-Martín, Sergi, 2015. "How well do individuals predict the selling prices of their homes?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 12-25.
    2. Winters, John V., 2009. "Wages and prices: Are workers fully compensated for cost of living differences?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 632-643, September.
    3. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2009. "Five Decades of Consumption and Income Poverty," NBER Working Papers 14827, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Brahima Coulibaly & Geng Li, 2009. "Choice of Mortgage Contracts: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 37(4), pages 659-673.
    5. Mani Nepal, "undated". "Where gathering firewood matters: Proximity and forest management effects in hedonic pricing models for rural Nepal," Working papers 113, The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics.
    6. Almenberg, Johan & Karapetyan, Artashes, 2009. "Mental Accounting in the Housing Market," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 718, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 28 Aug 2010.
    7. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2007. "Baby Boomer retirement security: The roles of planning, financial literacy, and housing wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 205-224, January.
    8. Johan Almenberg & Artashes Karapetyan, 2012. "The hidden costs of hidden debt," Working Paper 2011/22, Norges Bank.
    9. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Sinning, Mathias G., 2011. "Neighborhood diversity and the appreciation of native- and immigrant-owned homes," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 214-226, May.
    10. Annamaria Lusardi, 2008. "Household Saving Behavior: The Role of Financial Literacy, Information, and Financial Education Programs," NBER Working Papers 13824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Andreas G.F. Hoepner & John O.S. Wilson, 2012. "Social, Environmental, Ethical and Trust (SEET) Issues in Banking: An Overview," Chapters,in: Research Handbook on International Banking and Governance, chapter 24 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Kathleen W. Johnson & Geng Li, 2007. "Do high debt payments hinder household consumption smoothing?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-52, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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    Housing - Prices ; Home ownership ; Mortgage loans;

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