Essays on Foreclosures and Housing Debt

Abstract: This thesis consists of four self-contained essays in the field of real estate economics, and specifically, the market for single-family homes. The first three essays examine sales of foreclosed properties, while essay four is on the conversion process of rental apartments to owner-occupied units in the co-operative form. These topics have a common denominator in the analysis of real estate markets and a link to debt financing. The effect of a foreclosure on price is examined through several methods. In the first essay, a spatial hedonic model is applied on transaction data. In the second essay, the impact on holding-period returns and the rate-of-turnover is estimated through propensity-score matching. Hedonic regressions and appraisal data is used in the third essay, which analyzes the determinants of the price impact caused by a forced sale. The impact of local market conditions is tested and a discount on price is related to the search process among market participants.The second topic of conversions is addressed in essay four, which focuses on an informational asymmetry between tenants involved in the conversion process and other market participants. An incentive to mismanage housing co-operatives financially is examined through hedonic models applied to apartment transaction data.