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Changes in Homeowners’ Financial Security during the Recent Housing and Mortgage Boom

  • Kate Sabatini
  • Christian E. Weller

From the late 1990s through 2005, the U.S. experienced an unprecedented housing boom, which boosted the asset values of many families. This meant, on the one hand, that families with homes had more collateral to borrow against, but it also meant that new home buyers needed to take out larger mortgages to afford a home. After 2001, the U.S. saw a sharp acceleration in the growth rate of household debt. Using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances conducted by the Federal Reserve, which we supplement with data from the Flow of Funds Accounts generated by the Federal Reserve, we consider the effect of the housing and mortgage boom on the financial security of homeowners. The data indicate that all measures of vulnerability are increasing and suggest declining financial security for homeowners after 2000. The increases in financial vulnerability were especially pronounced for minorities, younger families, and lower income families.

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Paper provided by Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst in its series Working Papers with number wp125.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uma:periwp:wp125
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  1. Krumm, Ronald & Kelly, Austin, 1989. "Effects of homeownership on household savings," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 281-294, November.
  2. John Y. Campbell & Joao F. Cocco, 2003. "Household Risk Management And Optimal Mortgage Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1449-1494, November.
  3. Posey, Lisa L. & Yavas, Abdullah, 2001. "Adjustable and Fixed Rate Mortgages as a Screening Mechanism for Default Risk," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 54-79, January.
  4. N. Edward Coulson, 2002. "Housing policy and the social benefits of home ownership," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q2, pages 7-16.
  5. John Harding & Thomas J. Miceli & C.F. Sirmans, 2000. "Do Owners Take Better Care of Their Housing Than Renters?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 28(4), pages 663-681.
  6. Donald R. Haurin & Toby L. Parcel & R. Jean Haurin, 2002. "Does Homeownership Affect Child Outcomes?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 30(4), pages 635-666.
  7. Richard K. Green & Michelle J. White, 1994. "Measuring the Benefits of Homeowning: Effects on Children," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 94-05, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
  8. Andreas Lehnert, 2004. "Housing, consumption, and credit constraints," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-63, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Denice DiPasquale & Edward L. Glaeser, 1997. "Incentives and Social Capital: Are Homeowners Better Citizens?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1815, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. James VanderHoff, 1996. "Adjustable and Fixed Rate Mortgage Termination, Option Values and Local Market Conditions: An Empirical Analysis," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 24(3), pages 379-406.
  11. Baker Dean, 2006. "The Menace of an Unchecked Housing Bubble," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 3(4), pages 1-5, March.
  12. Dean Baker, 2002. "The Run-up in Home Prices: A Bubble," Challenge, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 45(6), pages 93-119, November.
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