As a stated policy objective, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) seeks to boost the national homeownership rate to 70 percent by 2006. To accomplish this goal, they estimate that 3.8 million additional families be added to the ranks of U.S. homeowners. Furthermore, HUD estimates that the homeownership gap between minority and nonminority families must be reduced by a full 15 percent. Many policy instruments—both targeted and otherwise—have been suggested to increase homeownership. These range from low downpayment loans, greater access to credit in underserved areas, and interest rates subsidies. However, little is know about the efficacy of these measures to raise long-term homeownership rates. In this analysis, we focus on the role of interest rates on homeownership rates and the housing stock. In particular, we provide a critical review of the literature on the relationship between housing and interest rates in contrast to other determinants of homeownership and changes in housing supply. We then present our own estimates of the influence of interest rates on homeownership and housing starts. We find that interest rates play little direct role in changing homeownership rates. While changes in interest rates may affect the timing of changes in tenure status from renter to owner, the long-run ownership rate appears independent of interest rates. We find housing starts are, however, sensitive to changes in the interest rate. This implies that housing supply, or at least the timing of changes in housing supply, is sensitive to interest rates. It is though this mechanism that the stock of owner-occupied housing expands, though household formation and immigration may leave the ownership rate unchanged. We conclude by discussing whether other instruments, such as low down payment loans and improved technology for assessment of credit risk, may potentially be better suited to increasing long-term homeownership rates.
The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera