Working Papers

The Shifting Profile of First-Time Homebuyers: 1997-2017

Authors: Shannon Rieger, Jonathan Spader, Sean Veal | August 21, 2019

Who are recent first-time homebuyers? What kinds of homes do they buy? And have the answers to these questions changed over time in response to demographic and economic shifts? These questions garner substantial media attention, but the availability of nationally representative data on the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of first-time homebuyers and the physical attributes of their homes is limited. ...

Eliminating Exclusionary Land Use Regulations Should Be the Civil Rights Issue of Our Time

Author: Michael Stegman | August 19, 2019

Evidence is accumulating that the multiple layers of exclusionary zoning and land use controls are a powerful contributor not just to higher housing costs, but also to declining rates of economic mobility and productivity growth, and to widening disparities in the wealth of white and black Americans. In this Industry Perspectives paper, Senior Fellow Michael Stegman looks back at five presidential commissions and federal initiatives to eliminate local barriers to housing development....

GSE Reform: None or Mostly Done?

Author: Don Layton | August 05, 2019

Over the past decade, Congress and most housing finance policy developers and commentators have overwhelmingly focused on reform of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) in terms of comprehensive reform, meaning major changes in the design and structure of the housing finance system, which would require legislation by Congress. But, Donald Layton argues, reform has been “mostly done” already, quietly and competently, during conservatorship....

A Home Builder Perspective on Housing Affordability and Construction Innovation

Authors: Kent Colton, Gopal Ahluwalia | July 15, 2019

The backdrop for the HIVE (Housing Innovation Vision Economics) Home Builder Survey was a shortage of housing and a serious housing affordability challenge – some would call it a crisis – in many parts of the nation. By surveying top single-family and multifamily builders around the United States, it was possible to identify key issues of interest to the homebuilding industry....

Financial Intermediaries as Suppliers of Housing Quality

Author: Michael Reher | May 21, 2019

While rents for many households have grown faster than either inflation or renters’ wages since the Great Recession, most discussions have overlooked the role that financing practices may have contributed to the rent increases and loss of low-cost rental units....

How Do Mortgage Refinances Affect Debt, Default, and Spending? Evidence from HARP

Authors: Joshua Abel, Andreas Fuster | May 15, 2019

This paper seeks to refine our understanding of how refinancing a mortgage affects household outcomes. This issue has attracted particular attention in the wake of the Great Recession, however, there is still not much clean evidence on the causal effects of refinancing on borrower outcomes, nor on the heterogeneity of these effects across different borrower types....

The Economic Effects of Climate Change Adaptation Measures: Evidence from Miami-Dade County and New York City

Author: Seung Kyum Kim | May 01, 2019

This research examines the economic impact of climate change adaptation measures on the housing markets of two representative coastal cities in the United States located along the Atlantic Ocean....

Totally Familiar Yet Completely New: Opportunities for and Challenges to Integrating Disaster Risk Management in Community Development

Author: Susanna Pho | April 26, 2019

While community-based organizations (CBOs) have been engaged in preparing and responding to disasters for decades, there has been little research on how this disaster-related work affects their organizational capacities....