The Role of Foreclosures in Determining Housing Capital Expenditures

Posted: 15 Sep 2016

See all articles by Lingxiao Li

Lingxiao Li

California State University, Fullerton

Date Written: September 14, 2016


This paper uses a novel dataset of capital expenditures on housing, to study how foreclosures affect capital expenditure investments in residential properties. Empirical analysis discovers that foreclosures negatively affect capital expenditure investment through the following channels: (1) individual homeowners reduce their capital expenditures when home prices fall and the likelihood of foreclosure increases; (2) lenders pursue a strategy of low investment in real estate owned (REO) inventories; (3) the reductions in capital expenditures generate a negative externality by creating a disincentive for other homeowners to spend on home improvements; and (4) a cluster of foreclosures further worsens the reduced investment situation. Purchasers of REO properties spend more on capital expenditures than those of non-REO properties in one year after sales.

Keywords: Foreclosure, Housing, Capital expenditure, Investment externality

Suggested Citation

Li, Lingxiao, The Role of Foreclosures in Determining Housing Capital Expenditures (September 14, 2016). Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Vol. 53, No. 3, 2016, Available at SSRN:

Lingxiao Li (Contact Author)

California State University, Fullerton ( email )

800 N State College St
Fullerton, CA 92831
United States

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