A Price Index for Residential Real Estate from 1866-1953 in Baltimore
16 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2019
Date Written: October 7, 2019
This paper introduces the first repeat sales index of US residential real estate prices in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The index reveals greater price declines during the 1890s and 1930s than scholars have previously described, and higher leverage as well. During the Great Depression in particular, while previous data suggest most borrowers should have been able to retain positive equity, I estimate that about 28 percent of residential mortgage borrowers had negative equity by 1932, and more than one in four such borrowers experienced foreclosure.
Keywords: real estate prices, economic history, great depression
JEL Classification: N11, N12, N21, N22, N91, N92, G12, R3
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