Publications

  • Research Area: Housing Prices ×
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  • The Foreclosure Crisis and Community Development: Exploring REO Dynamics in Hard-Hit Neighborhoods

    As the foreclosure crisis continues, many communities are faced with a glut of properties that have completed the foreclosure process and are now owned by banks or other mortgage lenders. These properties, referred to as “real estate owned (REO),” often sit vacant for extended periods and, recent studies suggest, depress neighboring property values. In this article we shed new light on the “REO problem” by studying the stock of REO properties at the neighborhood level in three urban areas: New York City, Miami-Dade County, Florida, and Fulton County, Georgia. We find that in each area, the number of REO properties was declining as of the end of 2011, and even in the hardest hit neighborhoods, only a small share of REO properties were purchased and “flipped” by investors.  However, in Miami-Dade and Fulton Counties, a small number of neighborhoods continued to have very high concentrations of REO properties, and the REO stock in all three areas was increasingly made up of properties that had been in REO for more than three years.

  • Housing and the Great Recession

    The story of the Great Recession cannot be told without addressing housing and, in particular, the dramatic decline in housing prices that began in late 2006. A distinctive feature of the Great Recession is its intimate connection to the housing sector; indeed many would argue that the Great Recession was triggered by the widespread failure of risky mortgage products. Whatever the sources of the Great Recession may have been, the housing sector is still deeply troubled and is a key contributor to our ongoing economic duress. This recession brief lays out the main features of the downturn in the housing sector. It was produced as part of a series on the economic and social fallout of the recession in conjunction with the Russell Sage Foundation and the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality.

  • Quarterly Housing Update 2012: 3rd Quarter

    In an analysis of third quarter housing indicators, the Furman Center finds that home sales volume remained relatively stagnant in the third quarter of 2012, with the number of transactions citywide down by 0.1 percent. Housing prices throughout the city are up 4.4 percent compared to the same quarter last year. The report also finds that the number of foreclosure notices issued in Q3 2012 has increased 14.5 percent citywide since the third quarter of 2011, with a 40.9 percent increase in Queens.

  • Quarterly Housing Update 2012: 1st Quarter

    In an analysis of first quarter housing indicators, the Furman Center finds that home sales volume rose in the first quarter of 2012, with the number of transactions citywide up almost five percent. Housing prices throughout the city are up 3.5 percent compared to the same quarter last year. The report also finds that the number of foreclosure notices issued in Q1 2012 has fallen citywide since its peak in the third quarter of 2009. However, foreclosure notices in Queens and Staten Island increased by more than 20 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011

  • Quarterly Housing Update 2012: 2nd Quarter

    In an analysis of second quarter housing indicators, the Furman Center finds that home sales volume increased in the third quarter of 2012, with the number of transactions citywide up by 16.4 percent. Housing prices throughout the city are up 2.7 percent compared to the same quarter last year. There were 243 new units authorized by building permits in the second quarter of 2012, 386 fewer than the previous quarter and 1,159 fewer than the same quarter of 2011. The report also finds that the number of foreclosure notices issued in Q2 2012 has increased 34.9 percent citywide since the first quarter of 2012, with the highest increase seen in Queens with 41 percent.

  • Challenges Facing Housing Markets in the Next Decade: Developing a Policy-Relevant Research Agenda

    This paper proposes a research agenda that addresses the major challenges facing the U.S. housing market: the long-term effects of the housing market crisis on today’s households and on the next generation, increasing poverty coupled with persistently high income inequality and volatility, continued concentration of poor and minority households in low-quality housing and low-opportunity neighborhoods, and the growing need for sustainable and resilient buildings and communities. This analysis is a framing paper for the What Works Collaborative, a foundation-supported research partnership that conducts timely research and analysis to help inform the implementation of an evidence-based housing and urban policy agenda.

  • Quarterly Housing Update 2011: 4th Quarter

    In an analysis of fourth quarter housing indicators, the Furman Center finds that home sales volume continued to decline in the fourth quarter of 2011, with the number of transactions citywide down 15 percent from the previous quarter and 11 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010. Foreclosure starts were down in most of the city, with 33 percent fewer foreclosure notices issued in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to the same quarter in 2010. Manhattan was the only borough where the number of foreclosure starts increased, although the number of notices issued in Manhattan still remained well below the numbers issued in any of the other boroughs.

  • Quarterly Housing Update 2011: 3rd Quarter

    In an analysis of third quarter housing indicators, The Furman Center finds that home sales volume remained low in the third quarter of 2011, with the number of properties sold citywide four percent lower than the number sold in the third quarter of 2010. Property values are also lagging in most of the city. Manhattan is the only borough where properties have appreciated in price over the last year. The Quarterly Housing Update is unique among New York City housing reports because it incorporates sales data, residential development indicators, and foreclosures. It also presents a repeat sales index for each borough to capture price appreciation while controlling for housing quality.

  • Loan Modifications: What Works

    We use a unique dataset that combines data on loan, borrower, property, and neighborhood characteristics of modified mortgages on properties in New York City to examine the determinates of successful modifications. From November 2007 through March 2011, over 2.1 million mortgages were modified in the United States, and policymakers have heralded such modifications as a key to addressing the ongoing foreclosure crisis. This dataset includes both HAMP modifications and proprietary modifications. The analysis builds upon a prior paper in which the determinants of loan modifications were examined.

  • New York City Quarterly Housing Update 2011: 2nd Quarter

    In an analysis of second quarter housing indicators, the Furman Center finds that home sales volume declined 20 percent from the first to the second quarter of 2011, although home prices citywide held steady. The report also finds that new construction is slowly starting to return with 1,556 units authorized by new residential building permits between January and June 2010, compared with 1,703 units authorized in all of 2010.