Innovations in Mortgage Markets and Increased Spending on Housing


Mark Doms

John Krainer

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2007-05 | July 1, 2007

Innovations in the mortgage market since the mid-1990s have effectively reduced a number of financing constraints. Coinciding with these innovations, we document a significant change in the propensity for households to own their homes, as well as substantial increases in the share of household income devoted to housing. These changes in housing expenditures are especially large for those groups that faced the greatest financial constraints, and are robust across the changing composition of households and their geographic location. We present evidence that young, constrained households may have used newly designed mortgages to finance their increased expenditures on housing.