The role of neighborhood characteristics in mortgage default risk: Evidence from New York City

Sewin Chan, Michael Gedal, Vicki Been, Andrew Haughwout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Using a rich database of non-prime mortgages from New York City, we find that census tract level neighborhood characteristics are important predictors of default behavior, even after controlling for an extensive set of controls for loan and borrower characteristics. First, default rates increase with the rate of foreclosure notices and the number of lender-owned properties (REOs) in the tract. Second, default rates on home purchase mortgages are higher in census tracts with larger shares of black residents, regardless of the borrower's own race. We explore possible explanations for this second finding and conclude that it likely reflects differential treatment of black neighborhoods by the mortgage industry in ways that are unobserved in our data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-118
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Housing Economics
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2013

Keywords

  • Default
  • Mortgage
  • Neighborhoods
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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