Publications

  • Research Area: Housing Finance ×
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  • Do Homeowners Mark to Market? A Comparison of Self-reported and Estimated Market Home Values During the Housing Boom and Bust

    This paper examines homeowners’ self-reported values in the American Housing Survey and the Health and Retirement Study from the start of the recent housing price run-ups through recent price declines. It compares zip code level market-based estimates of housing prices to those derived from homeowners’ self-reported values. The paper shows that there are systematic differences which vary with market conditions and the amount of equity owners hold in their homes. When prices have fallen, homeowners systematically state that their homes are worth more than market estimates suggest, and homeowners with little or no equity in their homes state values above the market estimates to a greater degree. Over time, homeowners appear to adjust their assessments to be more in line with past market trends, but only slowly. The results suggest that underwater borrowers are likely to understate their losses and either may not be aware that their mortgages are underwater or underestimate the degree to which they are.

  • Quarterly Housing Update: 3rd Quarter 2014

    The number of units authorized by new residential building permits continued to rise in during third quarter of 2014, according to the Furman Center’s New York City 2014 Quarterly Housing Update: 3rd Quarter, with Brooklyn experiencing the strongest growth. The number of residential properties sold in the third quarter of 2014 also increased citywide versus the same quarter in the previous year, most notably in Staten Island. Residential housing prices rose by over seven percent in the city overall, and the number of new residential foreclosure filings fell by more than 20 percent in each borough. Read the full report.

  • Quarterly Housing Update: 2nd Quarter 2014

    In the second quarter of 2014, total notices of foreclosure decreased in all boroughs, with a citywide drop of 17.1 percent, according to the NYU Furman Center’s 2014 Quarterly Housing Update: 2nd Quarter. Initial foreclosure filings fell nearly 35 percent citywide making this the second quarter in a row with year-over-year decreases in initial foreclosures. The report also found that residential property prices in New York City increased by 8 percent compared to the same quarter in 2013, with a 12.1 increase in Manhattan and an 11.2 increase in Brooklyn. See press release or read the full report.

  • Preserving History or Hindering Growth? The Heterogeneous Effects of Historic Districts on Local Housing Markets in New York City

    Historic district designation has long been a topic of considerable debate. This report, conducted in collaboration with the National Bureau of Economic Research, provides new evidence to inform one aspect of this discussion—the effect that historic district designation has on housing. The report considers how designation of historic districts in New York City affects property values both within district boundaries and in the buffer areas just outside district boundaries, and explores how these effects vary across neighborhoods. Read the full report, the research brief, or view the press release.

  • The Price of Resilience: Can Multifamily Housing Afford to Adapt?

    This report explores the challenges of retrofitting New York City’s existing multifamily rental buildings to be more resilient to future storms. After summarizing our key findings, we provide background about the current regulatory requirements existing building owners who wish to retrofit must navigate. We then discuss the results of a design workshop the Furman Center convened in January 2014 with the help of our partners at the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANY) and Enterprise Community Partners.

  • Profile of Rent-Stabilized Units and Tenants in New York City

    In 2011, rent stabilized units comprised nearly one million units of housing in New York City--roughly 45 percent the city's rental housing stock. This report details the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the tenants who live in NYC's stabilized housing. It is an update to a 2012 brief, Rent Stabilization in New York City. It has been slightly expanded and re-released to inform the ongoing discussions about rent stabilization in New York City in advance of the June 23, 2014 Rent Guidelines Board vote to set the allowable increase for 2015 lease renewals.

  • Urban Land-Use Regulation: Are Homeowners Overtaking the Growth Machine?

    The leading theory about urban land-use regulation argues that city zoning officials are full partners in the business and real estate elite’s “growth machine.” Suburban land-use officials, in contrast, are thought to cater to the interests of the majority of their electorate— “homevoters.” A unique database regarding over 200,000 lots that the New York City Planning Commission considered for rezoning between 2002 and 2009 allows us to test various hypotheses suggested by these competing theories of land-use regulation. This analysis reveals that homevoters are more powerful in urban politics than scholars, policymakers, and judges have assumed.

  • Mortgage Foreclosures and the Shifting Context of Crime in Micro-Neighborhoods

    In the wake of the housing crisis there is growing concern that increased mortgage foreclosures may lead to physical deterioration of buildings and increased vacancy rates in neighborhoods, undermining neighborhood social controls, and causing increases in local crime. While some recent research suggests that increased mortgage foreclosures in micro-neighborhoods cause modest increases in crime (Ellen, Lacoe, and Sharygin, 2013; Cui, 2010), this paper considers whether foreclosures lead to increased crime on a block, as well as the mechanisms through which foreclosures affect neighborhood crime. To shed light on mechanisms, we investigate whether and how foreclosures shift the location and type of criminal activity by changing the relative attractiveness to potential offenders of one location versus another. For instance, the presence of a vacant, foreclosed building may make it more likely that a drug dealer will sell drugs in a building rather than on the street. As a result, crime occurring inside residences (and in vacant buildings in particular) and on the street may increase by different magnitudes. In addition, we consider whether foreclosures affect resident reports of disorder. Using richly detailed foreclosure, 311, and crime data geo-coded to the blockface (a street segment in-between the two closest cross-streets), we estimate the impact of foreclosures on the location of crime within blockfaces. This research focuses on Chicago, Illinois. Like many areas of the country, housing prices in Chicago reached a peak in 2006, and declined through 2011. In September 2011, 8.7 percent of the mortgages in the Chicago metropolitan area were in foreclosure, giving Chicago the 11th highest foreclosure rate among the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the country. Recent media reports claim that foreclosed and abandoned buildings in Chicago attract criminal activity including gang activity, drug use, and burglaries, in addition to graffiti, and theft of copper pipes and radiators (Knight and O’Shea, 2011). This study takes an empirical look at how foreclosures have changed patterns of crime in Chicago.

  • Quarterly Housing Update: 3rd Quarter 2013

    Manhattan sales prices reached a new peak for the second consecutive quarter, according to the NYU Furman Center's 2013 Quarterly Housing Update: 3rd Quarter. Brooklyn saw the largest gains in price appreciation over the previous year at 15 percent, while the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens showed gains over 10 percent. Citywide, new foreclosure filings rose roughly 15 percent since the same quarter last year. 

  • Give Credit Where Credit Is Due: Overhauling the CRA

    The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is in need of a major overhaul. Since the CRA was enacted in 1977, and since the last major rewrite of the regulations more than 15 years ago, much about the financial services industry has changed. This chapter discusses why the regulatory system needs to be redesigned to allow for more regular and timely updates, allowing more rapid  responses to what is working and what is not. By being more amenable to continuous improvement, the CRA should be more open to innovation and experimentation given the greater opportunity for making midterm corrections. This chapter starts with a brief overview of the CRA and its successes. It then outlines some ways to facilitate more regular updating of the CRA regulations, followed by a review of a number of ways to increase the effectiveness of CRA in helping to stabilize and revitalize low-and moderate-income (LMI) communities.