They analyze a panel data set of mortgages originated between the years 2000 and 2009 and follow their performance up to 2014. After controlling for all the usual observable effects, the authors show that a strong residual vintage effect remains. This vintage effect correlates well with consumer mortgage demand, as measured by the Federal Reserve Board’s Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey, and correlates well to changes in mortgage pricing at the time the loan was originated. The authors’ findings are consistent with an economic environment in which the incentives of low-risk consumers to obtain a mortgage decrease when the cost of obtaining a loan rises. As a result, mortgage originators generate mortgages from a pool of consumers with changing risk profiles over the credit cycle. The unobservable component of the shift in credit risk, relative to the usual underwriting criteria, may be thought of as macroeconomic adverse selection.
Consumer Risk Appetite, the Credit Cycle, and the Housing Bubble
WP 16-05 - The authors explore the role of consumer risk appetite in the initiation of credit cycles and as an early trigger of the U.S. mortgage crisis.