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The Policy Implications of Portfolio Choice in Underserved Mortgage Markets

  • William Goetzmann
  • Matthew Spiegel

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

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Paper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number ysm161.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2000
Date of revision: 01 Mar 2001
Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm161
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://icf.som.yale.edu/

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. William N. Goetzmann and Matthew Spiegel., 1995. "A Spatial Model of Housing Returns and Neighborhood Substitutability," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-253, University of California at Berkeley.
  4. Goetzmann, W.N. & Spiegel, M., 1992. "Non-temporal Components of Residential Real Estate Appreciation," Papers 92-20, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  5. 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.
  6. William N. Goetzmann & Brent W. Ambrose, 1996. "Risks and Incentives in Underserved Mortgage Markets," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm62, Yale School of Management.
  7. 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.
  8. Theodore M. Crone & Richard P. Voith, 1999. "Risk and Return within the Single-Family Housing Market," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 27(1), pages 63-78.
  9. 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 201-22, May.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Fratantoni, Michael C., 1998. "Homeownership and Investment in Risky Assets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 27-42, July.
  14. Poterba, James M, 1984. "Tax Subsidies to Owner-occupied Housing: An Asset-Market Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(4), pages 729-52, November.
  15. 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 375-92, December.
  16. 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 159-80, October.
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