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Credit Supply and House Prices: Evidence from Mortgage Market Segmentation

  • Manuel Adelino
  • Antoinette Schoar
  • Felipe Severino

We show that easier access to credit significantly increases house prices by using exogenous changes in the conforming loan limit as an instrument for lower cost of financing. Houses that become eligible for financing with a conforming loan show an increase in house value of 1.16 dollars per square foot (for an average price per square foot of 220 dollars) and higher overall house prices controlling for a rich set of house characteristics. However, these estimated coefficients are consistent with a local elasticity of house prices to interest rates that is lower than some previous studies proposed (below 10). In addition, loan to value ratios around the conforming loan limit deviate significantly from the common 80 percent norm, which confirms that it is an important factor in the financing choices of home buyers. In line with our interpretation, the results are stronger in the first half of our sample (1998-2001) when the conforming loan limit was more important, given that other forms of financing were less common and substantially more expensive. Results are also stronger in zip codes where personal income growth is low or declining, and in regions with lower elasticity of housing supply.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17832.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17832
Note: AP CF
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  1. David Genesove & Christopher J. Mayer, 1993. "Equity and time to sale in the real estate market," Working Papers 93-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  2. Dell’Ariccia, G. & Igan, D. & Laeven, L., 2009. "Credit Booms and Lending Standards : Evidence from the Subprime Mortgage Market," Discussion Paper 2009-46 S, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb & Joseph Gyourko, 2012. "Can Cheap Credit Explain the Housing Boom?," NBER Chapters, in: Housing and the Financial Crisis, pages 301-359 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Khandani, Amir E. & Lo, Andrew W. & Merton, Robert C., 2013. "Systemic risk and the refinancing ratchet effect," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 29-45.
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  15. Chris Downing & Richard Stanton & Nancy Wallace, 2005. "An Empirical Test of a Two-Factor Mortgage Valuation Model: How Much Do House Prices Matter?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 33(4), pages 681-710, December.
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