Thursday, October 4, 2007

Homeownership Rate

One of the symbols of the recent Housing Boom was the increase in the Homeownership rate to above trend levels. Some debated the cause of this increase. A recent study by Matthew Chambers, Carlos Garriga, and Don E. Schlagenhauf entitled "Accounting for Changes in the Homeownership Rate," published as a working paper in September 2007 by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, concluded that the main reason for this increase was the growth of exotic mortgage products, and not demographic reasons.

A copy of the study is here.

"We find that the long-run importance of the introduction of new mortgage products for the aggregate homeownership rate ranges from 56 percent to 70 percent. Demographic factors account for between 16 percent and 31 percent of the change."

What does all this mean? If this study holds up under peer review, it would argue for a more prolonged housing downturn for two reasons - this demand will not be coming back anytime soon, and houses purchased by this group will swell inventories.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice blog!