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Home Equity Insurance: A Pilot Project

Listed author(s):
  • Andrew Caplin
  • William Goetzmann
  • Eric Hangen
  • Barry Nalebuff
  • Elisabeth Prentice
  • John Rodkin
  • Matthew Spiegel
  • Tom Skinner

Home equity is the single largest component of household wealth for the majority of American households. Yet, there is virtually no way for the average family to insure itself against drops in home value and the ensuing destructive financial loss. Much of U.S. housing policy has focused on helping them against the risk that home ownership entails. In this paper, we document the development and implementation of a home equity insurance program launched in 2002 in Syracuse, New York. The range of issues arising from the practical implementation of a home equity insurance program, as well as the institutional challenges offer useful data for further extensions of the program. Highlights of the outcome, to date, of the pilot program include the finding that implementation of the program was feasible on the local level, that customers understand and wanted to take part, and that clean data on housing transactions is a vital component of the future success and expansion of the project.

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Paper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number ysm372.

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Date of creation: 28 May 2003
Date of revision: 23 Jan 2006
Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm372
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  1. 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.
  2. Marjorie Flavin & Takashi Yamashita, 1998. "Owner-Occupied Housing and the Composition of the Household Portfolio Over the Life-Cycle," NBER Working Papers 6389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Matityahu Marcus & Michael K. Taussig, 1970. "A Proposal for Government Insurance of Home Values against Locational Risks," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(4), pages 404-413.
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