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Second Mortgages and Household Saving

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  • Joyce M. Manchester
  • James M. Poterba

Abstract

Second mortgages accounted for 10.8% of the stock of outstanding mortgage debt at the end of 1987, up from 3.6% at the beginning of the 198Os. This paper investigates the determinants of second mortgage borrowing and the characteristics of second mortgage borrowers. We first calculate the outstanding stock of home equity that remains to be borrowed against on tax-preferred terms, recognizing the limits on interest deductions in the 1986 Tax Reform Act and the 1987 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. Despite these limits, we estimate that more than two trillion dollars of housing equity remains to be borrowed against by current homeowners. We then present cross-sectional evidence suggesting that households who obtain second mortgages after purchasing a home ace less wealthy than other households with similar characteristics. Each dollar of second mortgage borrowing is associated with a seventy-five cent reduction in household net worth. While these results cannot be given a causal interpretation, they are consistent with the view that increased access to second mortgages has reduced personal saving.

Suggested Citation

  • Joyce M. Manchester & James M. Poterba, 1989. "Second Mortgages and Household Saving," NBER Working Papers 2853, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2853
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    Cited by:

    1. David Blake, 2004. "The impact of wealth on consumption and retirement behaviour in the UK," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(8), pages 555-576.
    2. David Blake, 2004. "Modelling the composition of personal sector wealth in the UK," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(9), pages 611-630.
    3. Agarwal, Sumit & Ambrose, Brent W. & Chomsisengphet, Souphala & Liu, Chunlin, 2006. "An empirical analysis of home equity loan and line performance," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 444-469, October.
    4. Douglas W. Elmendorf, "undated". "The Effect of Interest-Rate Changes on Household Saving and Consumption: A Survey," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1996-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), revised 10 Dec 2019.
    5. Aron, Janine & Duca, John V & Muellbauer, John & Murata, Keiko & Murphy, Anthony, 2010. "Credit, Housing Collateral and Consumption: Evidence from the UK, Japan and the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 7876, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Jonathan S. Skinner, 1994. "Housing and Saving in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Housing Markets in the United States and Japan, pages 191-214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Muellbauer, John & Murata, Keiko, 2009. "Consumption, Land Prices and the Monetary Transmission Mechanism in Japan," CEPR Discussion Papers 7269, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Ling, David C. & McGill, Gary A., 1998. "Evidence on the Demand for Mortgage Debt by Owner-Occupants," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 391-414, November.
    9. James M. Poterba, 1994. "Govemment Saving Incentives in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Public Policies and Household Saving, pages 1-18, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. W. Scott Frame & Lawrence J. White, 2009. "Technological Change, Financial Innovation, and Diffusion in Banking," Working Papers 09-03, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    11. Engelhardt, Gary V., 1996. "House prices and home owner saving behavior," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 313-336, June.
    12. John N. Muellbauer, 2007. "Housing, credit and consumer expenditure," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 267-334.
    13. Michael LaCour-Little & Wei Yu & Libo Sun, 2014. "The Role of Home Equity Lending in the Recent Mortgage Crisis," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 42(1), pages 153-189, March.
    14. Jonathan Skinner & Daniel Feenberg, 1990. "The Impact of the 1986 Tax Reform Act on Personal Saving," NBER Working Papers 3257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Chen, Chien-Liang & Kuan, Chung-Ming & Lin, Chu-Chia, 2007. "Saving and housing of Taiwanese households: New evidence from quantile regression analyses," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 102-126, June.
    16. Ebner, André, 2013. "A micro view on home equity withdrawal and its determinants: Evidence from Dutch households," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 321-337.
    17. Ying Fan & Abdullah Yavas, 2020. "How Does Mortgage Debt Affect Household Consumption? Micro Evidence from China," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 48(1), pages 43-88, March.
    18. Jonathan S. Skinner, 1996. "Is Housing Wealth a Sideshow?," NBER Chapters, in: Advances in the Economics of Aging, pages 241-272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Roger H. Gordon & Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason, 1990. "Effects of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 on Corporate Financial Policy and Organizational Form," NBER Working Papers 3222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Robin Boadway & David Wildasin, 1994. "Taxation and savings: a survey," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 15(3), pages 19-63, August.
    21. Alan Greenspan & James Kennedy, 2008. "Sources and uses of equity extracted from homes," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 120-144, spring.
    22. Kenny, Geoff, 1998. "The Housing Market and the Macroeconomy: Evidence From Ireland," Research Technical Papers 1/RT/98, Central Bank of Ireland.
    23. Benhabib, Jess & Bisin, Alberto, 2005. "Modeling internal commitment mechanisms and self-control: A neuroeconomics approach to consumption-saving decisions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 460-492, August.
    24. Jones, Lawrence D., 1995. "Net wealth, marginal tax rates and the demand for home mortgage debt," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 297-322, June.
    25. Yamashita, Takashi, 2007. "House price appreciation, liquidity constraints, and second mortgages," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 424-440, November.

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