Credit Supply and the Price of Housing

Posted: 12 Nov 2010

See all articles by Jean M. Imbs

Jean M. Imbs

Paris School of Economics (PSE); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Swiss Finance Institute

Giovanni Favara

HEC University of Lausanne; Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne - Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne; International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 10, 2010

Abstract

We show that since 1994, branching deregulations in the U.S have significantly affected the supply of mortgage credit, and ultimately house prices. With deregulation, the number and volume of originated mortgage loans increase, while denial rates fall. But the deregulation has no effect on a placebo sample, formed of independent mortgage companies that should not be affected by the regulatory change. This sharpens the causal interpretation of our results. Deregulation boosts the supply of mortgage credit, which has significant end effects on house prices. We find evidence house prices rise with branching deregulation, particularly so in Metropolitan Areas where construction is inelastic for topographic reasons. There is also evidence the fall in house prices after 2006 is most pronounced in least regulated states. We document these results in a large sample of counties across the U.S. We also focus on a reduced cross-section formed by counties on each side of a state border, where a regression discontinuity approach is possible. Our conclusions are strengthened.

Keywords: Credit Constraints, Mortgage Market, House Prices, Bank Branching

JEL Classification: G21, G10, G12

Suggested Citation

Imbs, Jean M. and Favara, Giovanni, Credit Supply and the Price of Housing (November 10, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1706711

Jean M. Imbs (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Swiss Finance Institute ( email )

c/o University of Geneve
40, Bd du Pont-d'Arve
1211 Geneva, CH-6900
Switzerland

Giovanni Favara

HEC University of Lausanne ( email )

Unil Dorigny, Batiment Internef
Lausanne, 1015
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.hec.unil.ch/gfavara/

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne - Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

c/o University of Geneve
40, Bd du Pont-d'Arve
1211 Geneva, CH-6900
Switzerland

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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