The Differential Access and Pricing of Home Mortgages: 2004 Through 2009

Real Estate Economics, Forthcoming

63 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2012 Last revised: 23 Feb 2012

See all articles by Peter M. Zorn

Peter M. Zorn

Freddie Mac

Marsha Courchane

Charles River Associates (CRA)

Date Written: November 2, 2011


This paper documents trends and drivers of the residential mortgage market during the years 2004 through 2009, specifically focusing on the access to and pricing of mortgages originated by African-American and Hispanic borrowers, and by borrowers living in low-income and minority communities. Our analysis relies on a rich set of proprietary data that allow more expanded insights than can be obtained from HMDA alone. We show that access to mortgage credit increased between 2004 and 2006 for the borrowers we focus on in our study, and declined dramatically thereafter. Trends in access to credit were driven primarily by the changing credit mix of mortgage applicants and secondarily by the replacement of FHA for subprime as the dominant mode of non-prime originations and tighter underwriting standards. Throughout our entire period of study, these borrowers also consistently paid higher prices for their mortgages; however, the extent of this differential varied considerably over time and across groups. These pricing trends were driven primarily by changes in the FHA and subprime shares, and by the market’s increasingly aggressive pricing of credit risk.

Suggested Citation

Zorn, Peter M. and Courchane, Marsha, The Differential Access and Pricing of Home Mortgages: 2004 Through 2009 (November 2, 2011). Real Estate Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

Peter M. Zorn (Contact Author)

Freddie Mac ( email )

1551 Park Run Drive
McLean, VA 22102
United States
(571) 382-3220 (Phone)
(571) 382-5074 (Fax)

Marsha Courchane

Charles River Associates (CRA) ( email )

1201 F Street, NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20004
United States

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