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

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  • Owen Lamont
  • Jeremy C. Stein

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Owen Lamont & Jeremy C. Stein, 1997. "Leverage and House-Price Dynamics in U.S. Cities," NBER Working Papers 5961, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5961
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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 1343-1366, September.
    3. Hardouvelis, Gikas A, 1990. "Margin Requirements, Volatility, and the Transitory Components of Stock Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 736-762, September.
    4. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Moore, John, 1997. "Credit Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 211-248, April.
    5. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1991. "Speculative Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 529-546.
    6. Jesse M. Abraham & Patric H. Hendershott, 1994. "Bubbles in Metropolitan Housing Markets," NBER Working Papers 4774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Case, Karl E & Shiller, Robert J, 1989. "The Efficiency of the Market for Single-Family Homes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 125-137, March.
    10. Jeremy C. Stein, 1995. "Prices and Trading Volume in the Housing Market: A Model with Down-Payment Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 379-406.
    11. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1990. "Forecasting Prices and Excess Returns in the Housing Market," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 18(3), pages 253-273.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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