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Understanding mortgage spreads

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Abstract

Most mortgages in the U.S. are securitized in agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS). Yield spreads on these securities are thus a key determinant of homeowners? funding costs. We study variation in MBS spreads over time and across securities, and document a cross-sectional smile pattern in MBS spreads with respect to the securities? coupon rates. We propose non-interest-rate prepayment risk as a candidate driver of MBS spread variation and present a new pricing model that uses ?stripped? MBS prices to identify the contribution of this prepayment risk to the spread. The pricing model finds that the smile can be explained by prepayment risk, while the time-series variation is mostly accounted for by a non-prepayment risk factor that co-moves with MBS supply and credit risk in other fixed income markets. We use the pricing model to study the MBS market response to the Fed?s large-scale asset purchase program and to interpret the post-announcement divergence of spreads across MBS.

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  • Nina Boyarchenko & Andreas Fuster & David O. Lucca, 2014. "Understanding mortgage spreads," Staff Reports 674, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:674
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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Fuster & Stephanie Lo & Paul S. Willen, 2017. "The time-varying price of financial intermediation in the mortgage market," Staff Reports 805, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    2. Andreas Fuster & Aurel Hizmo & Lauren Lambie-Hanson & James Vickery & Paul S. Willen, 2021. "How Resilient Is Mortgage Credit Supply? Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic," Working Papers 21-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    3. Beltratti, Andrea & Benetton, Matteo & Gavazza, Alessandro, 2017. "The role of prepayment penalties in mortgage loans," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 165-179.
    4. Thiago Revil T. Ferreira & Samer Shousha, 2020. "Scarcity of Safe Assets and Global Neutral Interest Rates," International Finance Discussion Papers 1293, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Yuriy Kitsul & Marcelo Ochoa, 2016. "Funding Liquidity Risk and the Cross-section of MBS Returns," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2016-052, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Haoyang Liu & Zhaogang Song & James Vickery, 2021. "Defragmenting Markets: Evidence from Agency MBS," Working Papers 21-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    7. David Lucca & Jonathan H. Wright, 2022. "The Narrow Channel of Quantitative Easing: Evidence from YCC Down Under," NBER Working Papers 29971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Zhiguo He & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2018. "Intermediary Asset Pricing and the Financial Crisis," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 10(1), pages 173-197, November.
    9. Andreas Fuster & David Lucca & James Vickery, 2023. "Mortgage-backed securities," Chapters, in: Refet S. Gürkaynak & Jonathan H. Wright (ed.), Research Handbook of Financial Markets, chapter 15, pages 331-357, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Mikhail Chernov & Brett R. Dunn & Francis A. Longstaff, 2018. "Macroeconomic-Driven Prepayment Risk and the Valuation of Mortgage-Backed Securities," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(3), pages 1132-1183.
    11. Christopoulos, Andreas D. & Jarrow, Robert A., 2018. "CMBS market efficiency: The crisis and the recovery," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 159-186.
    12. Nicola Fusari & Wei Li & Haoyang Liu & Zhaogang Song, 2022. "Asset Pricing with Cohort‐Based Trading in MBS Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 77(6), pages 3249-3287, December.
    13. Jiakai Chen & Haoyang Liu & Asani Sarkar & Zhaogang Song, 2020. "Dealers and the Dealer of Last Resort: Evidence from MBS Markets in the COVID-19 Crisis," Staff Reports 933, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    14. Nicola Fusari & Wei Li & Haoyang Liu & Zhaogang Song, 2020. "Asset Pricing with Cohort-Based Trading in MBS Markets," Staff Reports 931, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    15. Aytek Malkhozov & Philippe Mueller & Andrea Vedolin & Gyuri Venter, 2016. "Mortgage Risk and the Yield Curve," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 29(5), pages 1220-1253.
    16. Uhlig, Harald & Ospina, Juan, 2018. "Mortgage-Backed Securities and the Financial Crisis of 2008: a Post Mortem," CEPR Discussion Papers 12852, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Andreas Fuster & Paul Goldsmith‐Pinkham & Tarun Ramadorai & Ansgar Walther, 2022. "Predictably Unequal? The Effects of Machine Learning on Credit Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 77(1), pages 5-47, February.
    18. Thiago Revil T. Ferreira & Samer Shousha, 2021. "Supply of Sovereign Safe Assets and Global Interest Rates," International Finance Discussion Papers 1315, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    19. Andrea L. Eisfeldt & Hanno Lustig & Lei Zhang, 2017. "Complex Asset Markets," NBER Working Papers 23476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Peter Diep & Andrea L. Eisfeldt & Scott Richardson, 2016. "Prepayment Risk and Expected MBS Returns," NBER Working Papers 22851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Kim, Jong-Min & Kim, Dong H. & Jung, Hojin, 2020. "Modeling non-normal corporate bond yield spreads by copula," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 53(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    agency mortgage-backed securities; option-adjusted spreads; prepayment risk; OAS smile;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing

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