Kreisman Working Paper Series in Housing Law and Policy

Publication Date

2014

Publication Title

Kreisman Working Papers Series in Housing Law and Policy

Abstract

Monetary policy is perhaps the most important tool the government has to quickly affect the trajectory of the economy. This paper estimates the impact of policy- driven short-term mortgage rates on home equity based borrowing. Using credit record panel data from 1999{2010, we show that the likelihood of equity extraction peaked in 2003 when mortgage rates hit historic lows, and estimate that a 100 basis point rate decline leads to a 25 percent rise in extraction. Exploiting geographic variation in house price fluctuations, we find this rate effect is half the magnitude of the house price effect. Additionally, differential responses by age and credit score provide new evidence of financial frictions. Finally, equity extraction increases default risk, most strikingly for those extracting in 2006 when both interest rates and house prices were peaking. Conditional on many factors including credit score, zip code house price changes and county fixed effects, those who extracted in 2006 were 90 percent more likely to become delinquent on a mortgage than non-extractors over the next four years.

Number

3

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Law Commons

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