Monetary Policy and Home Buying Inequality
48 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2023
Date Written: January, 2023
Does monetary policy influence who becomes a home owner? Home purchases by low- and moderate-income households may be particularly sensitive to mortgage interest rates, as these households’ budgets are tighter and they more frequently come up against binding payment-to-income ratio constraints in credit decisions. Exploiting the timing of high-frequency observations of mortgage applicants locking in their interest rates around monetary policy shocks, I find that a 1 percentage point policy-induced increase in mortgage rates lowers the presence of low-income households in the population of home buyers by 1 percentage point, and of low- and moderate-income households by 2 percentage points, immediately following the shock. Effects are substantially stronger among first-time home buyers, and persist for approximately one year.
Keywords: Home ownership, Inequality, Monetary policy, Interest rates, Credit constraints
JEL Classification: G21, E43, E44, R21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation