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Understanding mortgage spreads

Author

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  • Nina Boyarchenko
  • Andreas Fuster
  • David O. Lucca

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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.).
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Ospina, Juan & Uhlig, Harald, 2018. "Mortgage-Backed Securities and the Financial Crisis of 2008: a Post Mortem," CEPR Discussion Papers 12852, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Peter Diep & Andrea L. Eisfeldt & Scott Richardson, 2016. "Prepayment Risk and Expected MBS Returns," NBER Working Papers 22851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. 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).
    9. 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.
    10. Zhiguo He & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2018. "Intermediary Asset Pricing and the Financial Crisis," NBER Working Papers 24415, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Jiakai Chen & Haoyang Liu & Asani Sarkar & Zhaogang Song, 2020. "Cash-Forward Arbitrage and Dealer Capital in MBS Markets: COVID-19 and Beyond ves," Staff Reports 933, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    12. Andrea L. Eisfeldt & Hanno Lustig & Lei Zhang, 2017. "Complex Asset Markets," NBER Working Papers 23476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    agency mortgage-backed securities; option-adjusted spreads; prepayment risk; OAS smile;

    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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