Most modern economies depend, to varying degrees, on the housing industry to generate growth. While reckless government promotion of home ownership can cause excesses such as those that happened in the United States, Spain and Ireland leading up to the 2008 housing bust, overly cautious policies can dampen economic development. As officials tweak the rules on mortgages to thwart prerecession extremes, it is important to understand how the costs of new regulations affect the housing and debt markets. While this paper may try too hard to find more answers than the data might bear, getAbstract applauds its bold attempt at addressing tough questions.
In this summary, you will learn
- Why US mortgage borrowers seek to stay below “the conforming loan limit,”
- How they achieve it and
- What this behavior says about the sensitivity of mortgage demand to increases in interest rates.
About the Authors
Anthony A. DeFusco is a doctoral student at The Wharton School. Andrew Paciorek is an economist with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.