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Subprime Outcomes: Risky Mortgages, Homeownership Experiences, and Foreclosures

  • Paul S. Willen

    (FRB Boston and NBER)

  • Adam Hale Shapiro

    (Boston University and FRB Boston)

  • Kristopher Gerardi

    (Boston University and FRB Boston)

This paper provides the first rigorous assessment of the homeownership experiences of subprime borrowers. We consider homeowners who used subprime mortgages to buy their homes, and estimate how often these borrowers end up in foreclosure. In order to evaluate these issues, we analyze homeownership experiences in Massachusetts over the 1989-2007 period using a competing risks, proportional hazard framework. We present two main findings. First, homeownerships that begin with a subprime purchase mortgage end up in foreclosure almost 20 percent of the time, or more than 6 times as often as experiences that begin with prime purchase mortgages. Second, house price appreciation plays an important role in generating foreclosures. In fact, we attribute much of the dramatic rise in Massachusetts foreclosures during 2006 and 2007 to the decline in house prices that began in the summer of 2005.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2008 Meeting Papers with number 345.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed008:345
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  1. Deng, Yongheng & Quigley, John M., 2004. "Woodhead Behavior and the Pricing of Residential Mortgages," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt85q0w8xj, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  2. McCall, Brian P, 1996. "Unemployment Insurance Rules, Joblessness, and Part-Time Work," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(3), pages 647-82, May.
  3. von Furstenberg, George M, 1969. "Default Risk on FHA-Insured Home Mortgages as a Function of the Terms of Financing: A Quantitative Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 24(3), pages 459-77, June.
  4. Marsha J. Courchane & Brian J. Surette & Peter M. Zorn, 2004. "Subprime Borrowers: Mortgage Transitions and Outcomes," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 365-392, December.
  5. Munnell, Alicia H. & Geoffrey M. B. Tootell & Lynn E. Browne & James McEneaney, 1996. "Mortgage Lending in Boston: Interpreting HMDA Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 25-53, March.
  6. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
  7. John P. Herzog & James S. Earley, 1970. "Home Mortgage Delinquency and Foreclosure," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number herz70-1, June.
  8. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1987. "Prices of Single Family Homes Since 1970: New Indexes for Four Cities," NBER Working Papers 2393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Anthony Pennington-Cross & Giang Ho, 2010. "The Termination of Subprime Hybrid and Fixed-Rate Mortgages," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 38(3), pages 399-426.
  10. Kau, James B, et al, 1995. "The Valuation at Origination of Fixed-Rate Mortgages with Default and Prepayment," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 5-36, July.
  11. Kau James B. & Keenan Donald C. & Kim Taewon, 1994. "Default Probabilities for Mortgages," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 278-296, May.
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