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Crowding Out Effects of Refinancing on New Purchase Mortgages

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Listed:
  • Steven A. Sharpe
  • Shane M. Sherlund

Abstract

We present evidence that binding mortgage processing capacity constraints reduce mortgage originations to borrowers of low to modest credit quality. Mortgage processing capacity constraints typically bind when the demand for mortgage refinancing shifts outward, usually because of lower mortgage rates. As a result, high capacity utilization leads mortgage lenders to ration mortgage credit, completing mortgages that require less underwriting resources, and are thus less costly, to produce. This is hypothesized to have a particularly adverse impact on the ability of low- to modest-credit-quality borrowers to obtain mortgages. What is more, we show that, by lowering capacity utilization, a rise in interest rates can, under certain circumstances, induce an increase in mortgage originations to borrowers of low to modest credit quality. In particular, we find fairly large effects for purchasing borrowers of modest credit quality, in which we find that a decrease in capacity utilization of 4 applications per mortgage employee (similar to that observed from 2012 to 2013) could result in increased purchase mortgage originations, as the relaxed capacity constraint at least partially offsets the higher cost of mortgage credit.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven A. Sharpe & Shane M. Sherlund, 2015. "Crowding Out Effects of Refinancing on New Purchase Mortgages," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-17, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2015-17
    DOI: 10.17016/FEDS.2015.017
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bhutta, Neil, 2015. "The ins and outs of mortgage debt during the housing boom and bust," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 284-298.
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    3. Johannes Stroebel & John B. Taylor, 2012. "Estimated Impact of the Federal Reserve’s Mortgage-Backed Securities Purchase Program," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 8(2), pages 1-42, June.
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    8. Christopher Mayer & Karen Pence & Shane M. Sherlund, 2009. "The Rise in Mortgage Defaults," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 27-50, Winter.
    9. 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 375-392, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bedayo, Mikel & Jiménez, Gabriel & Peydró, José-Luis & Vegas, Raquel, 2020. "Screening and Loan Origination Time: Lending Standards, Loan Defaults and Bank Failures," EconStor Preprints 225986, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    2. Andreas Fuster & Stephanie Lo & Paul S. Willen, 2017. "The time-varying price of financial intermediation in the mortgage market," Working Papers 16-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    3. Neil Bhutta & Daniel R. Ringo, 2017. "The Effect of Interest Rates on Home Buying : Evidence from a Discontinuity in Mortgage Insurance Premiums," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-086, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Stuart A. Gabriel & Matteo Iacoviello & Chandler Lutz, 2020. "A Crisis of Missed Opportunities? Foreclosure Costs and Mortgage Modification During the Great Recession," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2020-053, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mortgages and credit; capacity constraint; refinancing;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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