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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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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17832.pdf
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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
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17832
Note: AP CF
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  1. Brent W. Ambrose & Michael LaCour-Little & Anthony B. Sanders, 2004. "The Effect of Conforming Loan Status on Mortgage Yield Spreads: A Loan Level Analysis," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 541-569, December.
  2. Giglio, Stefano & Pathak, Parag & Campbell, John Y., 2011. "Forced Sales and House Prices," Scholarly Articles 9887623, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Albert Saiz, 2010. "The Geographic Determinants of Housing Supply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1253-1296, August.
  4. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2009. "The Consequences of Mortgage Credit Expansion: Evidence from the U.S. Mortgage Default Crisis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1449-1496, November.
  5. Genesove, David & Mayer, Christopher J, 1997. "Equity and Time to Sale in the Real Estate Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 255-69, June.
  6. Richard K. Green & Susan M. Wachter, 2005. "The American Mortgage in Historical and International Context," Working Paper 9094, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
  7. DellAriccia, Giovanni & Igan, Deniz & Laeven, Luc, 2008. "Credit Booms and Lending Standards: Evidence From The Subprime Mortgage Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 6683, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. John Moore & Nobuhiro Kiyotaki, . "Credit Cycles," Discussion Papers 1995-5, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  9. Amir E. Khandani & Andrew W. Lo & Robert C. Merton, 2009. "Systemic Risk and the Refinancing Ratchet Effect," NBER Working Papers 15362, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Annamaria Lusardi & Daniel J. Schneider & Peter Tufano, 2011. "Financially Fragile Households: Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Papers 17072, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Sydney Ludvigson & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Jack Favilukis, 2010. "The Macroeconomic E¤ects of Housing Wealth, Housing Finance, and Limited Risk-Sharing in General Equilibrium," 2010 Meeting Papers 733, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb & Joseph Gyourko, 2010. "Can Cheap Credit Explain the Housing Boom?," NBER Working Papers 16230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Favara, Giovanni & Imbs, Jean, 2010. "Credit Supply and the Price of Housing," CEPR Discussion Papers 8129, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. 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.
  15. Fama, Eugene F & MacBeth, James D, 1973. "Risk, Return, and Equilibrium: Empirical Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 607-36, May-June.
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