The interest rate elasticity of mortgage demand: Evidence from bunching at the conforming loan limit

Anthony A. DeFusco, Andrew Paciorek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper provides novel estimates of the interest rate elasticity of mortgage demand by measuring the degree of bunching in response to a discrete jump in interest rates at the conforming loan limit-the maximum loan size eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The estimates indicate that a 1 percentage point increase in the rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage reduces first mortgage demand by between 2 and 3 percent. One-third of this response is driven by borrowers who take out second mortgages, which implies that total mortgage debt only declines by 1.5 to 2 percent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-240
Number of pages31
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Economic Policy
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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