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The Policy Implications of Portfolio Choice in Underserved Mortgage Markets

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  • William Goetzmann
  • Matthew Spiegel

Abstract

Home ownership increases the incentive to maintain property and neighborhood, as well as decreasing the outflow of rents from low-income zones. However, these benefits are not costless to homeowners. With a mortgage comes the possibility of default, the financial demands of maintenance, a reduction in alternate investment opportunities, an increased exposure to fluctuations in local economic conditions, and a drastic reduction in the liquidity of personal wealth. Recently, policy makers have sought to increase mortgage lending in traditionally underserved markets. In this paper we consider the effects of this policy in light of the risk and return of housing and the current tax treatment of the home mortgage deduction. We find housing to be a relatively poor asset class in which to invest the bulk of family wealth. Trends in housing suggest that a large percentage of homeowners who bought and sold within a five year horizon in the United States over the last twenty years lost money on the investment. Lowering the equity required to purchase a home does little to alleviate the problem. We show that the current tax code - if anything - encourages renting over buying and gentrifica

Suggested Citation

  • William Goetzmann & Matthew Spiegel, 2000. "The Policy Implications of Portfolio Choice in Underserved Mortgage Markets," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm161, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Mar 2001.
  • Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm161
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    File URL: http://icfpub.som.yale.edu/publications/2618
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    1. Gyourko, Joseph & Linneman, Peter, 1996. "Analysis of the Changing Influences on Traditional Households' Ownership Patterns," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 318-341, May.
    2. Goetzmann, William N & Spiegel, Matthew, 1995. "Non-temporal Components of Residential Real Estate Appreciation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 199-206, February.
    3. Spiegel, Matthew & Strange, William, 1992. "A Theory of Predictable Excess Returns in Real Estate," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 375-392, December.
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    5. Robert J. Shiller & Allan N. Weiss, 2000. "Moral Hazard in Home Equity Conversion," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 28(1), pages 1-31.
    6. Goetzmann, William Nelson, 1993. "The Single Family Home in the Investment Portfolio," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 201-222, May.
    7. Brueckner, Jan K, 1997. "Consumption and Investment Motives and the Portfolio Choices of Homeowners," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 159-180, October.
    8. Owen Lamont & Jeremy C. Stein, 1999. "Leverage and House-Price Dynamics in U.S. Cities," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(3), pages 498-514, Autumn.
    9. Fratantoni, Michael C., 1998. "Homeownership and Investment in Risky Assets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 27-42, July.
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    11. Goetzmann, William N & Spiegel, Matthew, 1997. "A Spatial Model of Housing Returns and Neighborhood Substitutability," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1-2), pages 11-31, Jan.-Marc.
    12. Caplin, Andrew & Freeman, Charles & Tracy, Joseph, 1997. "Collateral Damage: Refinancing Constraints and Regional Recessions," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(4), pages 496-516, November.
    13. Donald R. Haurin & Patric H. Hendershott & Susan M. Wachter, 1996. "Borrowing Constraints and the Tenure Choice of Young Households," NBER Working Papers 5630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. James M. Poterba, 1984. "Tax Subsidies to Owner-Occupied Housing: An Asset-Market Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(4), pages 729-752.
    15. Goetzmann, William Nelson, 1992. "The Accuracy of Real Estate Indices: Repeat Sale Estimators," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-53, March.
    16. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mitchell, Olivia S. & Piggott, John, 2004. "Unlocking housing equity in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 466-505, December.
    2. Cho, Sang-Wook (Stanley), 2010. "Household wealth accumulation and portfolio choices in Korea," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 13-25, March.
    3. Antonia Diaz & Maria Jose Luengo Prado, 2008. "On the User Cost and Homeownership," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(3), pages 584-613, July.
    4. Wenli Li & Rui Yao, 2007. "The Life-Cycle Effects of House Price Changes," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(6), pages 1375-1409, September.
    5. Yoshida, Jiro, 2007. "Technology Shocks and Asset Price Dynamics: The Role of Housing in General Equilibrium," MPRA Paper 6271, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Claudio Campanale, 2007. "Increasing Returns to Savings and Wealth Inequality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(4), pages 646-675, October.
    7. Cho, Sang-Wook (Stanley), 2012. "Accounting For Life-Cycle Wealth Accumulation: The Role Of Housing Institution," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(04), pages 493-517, September.
    8. Wenli Li & Fang Yang, 2010. "American dream or American obsession? The economic benefits and costs of homeownership," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q3, pages 20-30.

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