Research Briefs

HUD/FHA-Insured Homeowners and Properties in End-Stage Default and Foreclosure: National Context and Experiences in Massachusetts

Author: Rachel Bratt | June 30, 2020

These briefs offer insights about HUD’s regulations and procedures concerning mortgages near foreclosure/end-stage default following the Great Recession. They were written just before the coronavirus hit the US. With many people unable to make their mortgage payments due to COVID-19-related income loss, loan defaults and foreclosures will likely increase. This analysis may be of value as policymakers craft responses to this latest economic crisis....

Are Americans Stuck in Place? Declining Residential Mobility in the US

Author: Riordan Frost | May 04, 2020

In the 1980s, nearly one in five Americans moved every year. About one in ten Americans moved between 2018 and 2019. Residential mobility rates have been falling for decades, representing a cross-generational shift, with declines particularly steep among young adults and for local moves. The reasons behind this long-term decline are unclear but have been linked to various factors, including demographic change, housing affordability, and labor. This brief discusses the state of residential mobility today, focusing on domestic mobility between and within states, and reviews historical trends in this behavior. It then examines the motivations behind domestic mobility and briefly explores the possible reasons for the long-term, secular decline....

Piling Ever Higher: The Continued Growth of Student Loans

Author: Riordan Frost | July 25, 2019

Regardless of the amount owed, this brief finds that young households repaying student loans had less wealth than young households without student loan debt in 2016, across all levels of educational attainment....

PRO Neighborhoods: Innovative Strategies for Affordable Housing

Authors: Alexander von Hoffman, Matthew Arck | June 13, 2019

This brief describes five novel and replicable programs that are providing housing for low- and moderate-income Americans....

Healthy Home Remodeling: Consumer Trends and Contractor Preparedness

Author: Elizabeth La Jeunesse | January 31, 2019

U.S. consumers are increasingly worried about the link between health and everyday environmental exposures. As of 2018, 30 percent of all U.S. households expressed concerns about some aspect of their home negatively impacting or posing a risk to their health. Indoor air quality ranked as the leading source of concern, with moisture/mold and household dust as the most often cited specific worries. Yet while consumers are increasingly engaged in efforts to make their homes healthier, only half of all general remodeling contractors actively participate in this market niche at present. ...

Mapping Over Two Decades of Neighborhood Change in the Boston Metropolitan Area

Authors: Alexander Hermann, David Luberoff, Daniel McCue | January 30, 2019

The cities, towns, and neighborhoods that together make up greater Boston have changed significantly in the last few decades. Between 1990 and 2016, the region has become more affluent and more ethnically and racially diverse. However, during this same period, increases in house prices and rents outpaced the growth in many residents’ incomes. Moreover, while many of these changes have occurred throughout the region, the pace and nature of change has been uneven across the region’s cities, towns and neighborhoods. As a result, like the nation as a whole, the region is also becoming increasingly unequal and marked by growing concentrations of poverty and affluence....

How Many Homeowners Are at Risk of Missing the Window to Refinance? Evidence from the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances

How Many Homeowners Are at Risk of Missing the Window to Refinance? Evidence from the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances

Author: Jonathan Spader | November 15, 2018

With interest rates ticking upward in 2018 and the prospect of further rate increases to come, the era of historically-low mortgage rates may be ending....

Investigating Metro-Area Home Improvement Spending Cycles

Investigating Metro-Area Home Improvement Spending Cycles

Author: Abbe Will | July 31, 2018

The robust gains in the national home remodeling market in recent years mask significant variation in spending trends at the local level. This research examining metro-level home improvement spending cycles uses data from the 1995–2015 national American Housing Surveys. The main goal of the investigation is to understand if and how the magnitude and timing of remodeling spending booms, busts and recoveries have differed among major metro areas over the past twenty years, and how these cycles relate to local economic and housing market conditions. ...