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If Prices Fall, Mortgage Foreclosures Will Rise

Andrew Haughwout and Belicia Rodriguez In our previous post, we illustrated the recent extraordinarily strong growth in home prices and explored some of its key spatial patterns. Such price increases remind many of the first decade of the 2000s when home prices reversed, contributing to a broad housing market collapse that led to a wave of foreclosures, a financial crisis, and a prolonged recession. This post explores the risk that such an event could recur if home prices go into...

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Does the Rise in Housing Prices Suggest a Housing Bubble?

Andrew Haughwout and Belicia Rodriguez House prices have risen rapidly during the pandemic, increasing even faster than the pace set before the 2007 financial crisis and subsequent recession. Is there a risk that another dangerous housing bubble is developing? This is a complicated question, and the answer has many components. This post, the first of two, provides a more detailed look at the recent rise in home prices by breaking it down geographically, with a comparison to the pre-2007...

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The Housing Boom and the Decline in Mortgage Rates

Haoyang Liu, David Lucca, Dean Parker, and Gabriela Rays-Wahba During the pandemic, national home values and housing activity soared as mortgage rates declined to historic lows. Under the canonical “user cost” house price model, home values are held to be very sensitive to interest rates, especially at low interest rate levels. A calibration of this model can account for the house price boom with the observed decline in interest rates. But empirically, we find that home values are nowhere...

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Forbearance Participation Declines as Programs’ End Nears

Andrew Haughwout, Donghoon Lee, Joelle Scally, and Wilbert van der Klaauw The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data today released its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for the second quarter of 2021. It showed that overall household debt increased at a quick clip over the period, with a $322 billion increase in balances, boosted primarily by a 2.8 percent increase in mortgage balances, a 2.2 percent increase in credit card balances, and a 2.4 percent...

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Who Received Forbearance Relief?

Rajashri Chakrabarti, Jessica Lu, Joelle Scally, and Wilbert van der Klaauw Forbearance on debt repayment was a key provision of the CARES Act, legislation intended to combat the widespread economic losses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. This pause on required payments for federally guaranteed mortgages and student loans has provided temporary relief to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and servicers of nonfederal loans often provided forbearances or other relief on request as...

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Consumer Credit Demand, Supply, and Unmet Need during the Pandemic

Jessica Lu and Wilbert van der Klaauw It is common during recessions to observe significant slowdowns in credit flows to consumers. It is more difficult to establish how much of these declines are the consequence of a decrease in credit demand versus a tightening in supply. In this post, we draw on survey data to examine how consumer credit demand and supply have changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The evidence reveals a clear initial decline and recent rebound in...

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Consumer Credit Demand, Supply, and Unmet Need during the Pandemic

Jessica Lu and Wilbert van der Klaauw It is common during recessions to observe significant slowdowns in credit flows to consumers. It is more difficult to establish how much of these declines are the consequence of a decrease in credit demand versus a tightening in supply. In this post, we draw on survey data to examine how consumer credit demand and supply have changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The evidence reveals a clear initial decline and recent rebound in consumer...

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What Happens during Mortgage Forbearance?

Andrew Haughwout, Donghoon Lee, Joelle Scally, and Wilbert van der Klaauw As we discussed in our previous post, millions of mortgage borrowers have entered forbearance since the beginning of the pandemic, and more than 2 million remain in a program as of March 2021. In this post, we use our Consumer Credit Panel (CCP) data to examine borrower behavior while in forbearance. The credit bureau data are ideal for this purpose because they allow us to follow borrowers...

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Keeping Borrowers Current in a Pandemic

Andrew Haughwout, Donghoon Lee, Joelle Scally, and Wilbert van der Klaauw Federal government actions in response to the pandemic have taken many forms. One set of policies is intended to reduce the risk that the pandemic will result in a housing market crash and a wave of foreclosures like the one that accompanied the Great Financial Crisis. An important and novel tool employed as part of these policies is mortgage forbearance, which provides borrowers the option to...

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What Happens during Mortgage Forbearance?

Andrew Haughwout, Donghoon Lee, Joelle Scally, and Wilbert van der Klaauw As we discussed in our previous post, millions of mortgage borrowers have entered forbearance since the beginning of the pandemic, and more than 2 million remain in a program as of March 2021. In this post, we use our Consumer Credit Panel (CCP) data to examine borrower behavior while in forbearance. The credit bureau data are ideal for this purpose because they allow us to follow borrowers over...

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