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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)