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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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  • Manuel Adelino & Antoinette Schoar & Felipe Severino, 2012. "Credit Supply and House Prices: Evidence from Mortgage Market Segmentation," NBER Working Papers 17832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17832
    Note: AP CF

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Giovanni Favara & Jean Imbs, 2015. "Credit Supply and the Price of Housing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 958-992, March.
    2. Jack Favilukis & Sydney C. Ludvigson & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2017. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Housing Wealth, Housing Finance, and Limited Risk Sharing in General Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(1), pages 140-223.
    3. Annamaria Lusardi & Daniel Schneider & Peter Tufano, 2011. "Financially Fragile Households: Evidence and Implications," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(1 (Spring), pages 83-150.
    4. 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 255-269, June.
    5. Albert Saiz, 2010. "The Geographic Determinants of Housing Supply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1253-1296.
    6. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Moore, John, 1997. "Credit Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 211-248, April.
    7. 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.
    8. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2009. "The Consequences of Mortgage Credit Expansion: Evidence from the U.S. Mortgage Default Crisis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1449-1496.
    9. 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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    12. 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.
    13. 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.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General

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