Empirical mortgage prepayment models generally have trouble explaining differences in mortgage-prepayment speeds among pools with similar interest rates on the underlying mortgages. In this article, we model some of the sources of termination heterogeneity across mortgage pools, particularly the role of regional variations in housing prices in generating atypical prepayment speeds. Using a sample of Freddie Mac mortgage pools from 1991 to 1998, we compare two classes of empirical models: a rational option-pricing model using a backward-solving pricing algorithm and an empirical hazard model. In both empirical estimation strategies, we find evidence that differences in house-price dynamics across regions are an important source of between-pool heterogeneity. This finding is then shown to be robust to alternative ways of parameterizing pool heterogeneity in mortgage termination models.
The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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