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Leverage and House-Price Dynamics in U.S. Cities

  • Owen Lamont
  • Jeremy C. Stein

In this paper, we use city-level data to analyze the relationship between homeowner borrowing patterns and house-price dynamics. Our principal finding is that in cities where homeowners are more leveraged--i.e., have higher loan-to-value ratios--house prices react more sensitively to city-specific shocks, such as changes in per-capita income. This finding is consistent with recent theories which emphasize the role of collateralized borrowing in shaping the behavior of asset prices.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5961.

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Date of creation: Mar 1997
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as RAND Journal of Economics, Vol. 30, no. 3 (Autumn 1999): 498-514.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5961
Note: CF
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  1. Hardouvelis, Gikas A, 1990. "Margin Requirements, Volatility, and the Transitory Components of Stock Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 736-62, September.
  2. Culter, D.M. & Poterba, J.M. & Summers, L.H., 1990. "Speculative Dynamics," Working papers 544, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1990. "Forecasting Prices and Excess Returns in the Housing Market," NBER Working Papers 3368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. John Moore & Nobuhiro Kiyotaki, . "Credit Cycles," Discussion Papers 1995-5, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  5. Jeremy C. Stein, 1993. "Prices and Trading Volume in the Housing Market: A Model with Downpayment Effects," NBER Working Papers 4373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The Efficiency of the Market for Single-Family Homes," NBER Working Papers 2506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Andrew Caplin & Charles Freeman & Joseph Tracy, 1993. "Collateral Damage: How Refinancing Constraints Exacerbate Regional Recessions," NBER Working Papers 4531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-66, September.
  9. Hsieh, David A & Miller, Merton H, 1990. " Margin Regulation and Stock Market Volatility," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 3-29, March.
  10. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  11. Jesse M. Abraham & Patric H. Hendershott, 1994. "Bubbles in Metropolitan Housing Markets," NBER Working Papers 4774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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