Research Institute for Housing America

The Research Institute for Housing America of the Mortgage Bankers Association is a 501(c)(3) trust fund. Its chief purpose is to encourage and aid - through grants and sponsored research to distinguished scholars, educational institutions, research facilities, and government organizations - the pursuit of knowledge of mortgage markets and real estate finance.  Learn more

Our Published Reports

Affordability thumbnail 8/2/2016
The Affordability of Owner-Occupied Housing in the United States: Economic Perspectives 
There are many conceptualizations of how to measure housing affordability and there are many affordability indexes. All measures are based on judgments of which components of housing costs should be included and judgments about when these costs should be considered excessive. This study reviews existing theory and empirical work about the affordability of owner-occupied housing. It concludes that only a few affordability indexes are well grounded in economic theory, although all contain ad hoc assumptions. One commonly made judgment is that a household's housing cost should be compared with its income, although alternative comparisons such as with housing construction costs have been proposed. Another conclusion reached is that an affordability index should measure the full cost of housing faced by the homeowner.
Diverted thumbnail 5/3/2016
Diverted Homeowners, the Rental Crisis and Foregone Household Formation 
Much has been written already about the housing crisis that precipitated the Great Recession. Among the long-term impacts have been the emergence of a rental housing shortage and an intensified affordability crisis in the rental market. This report analyzes various supply and demand factors that have led to this crisis. In so doing, it provides detailed analysis of the shifts in homeowner and rental demand.
3/23/2016
Cognition and the Housing Behavior of Older Americans
America is aging. As the Baby Boom begins to enter retirement years, new challenges are arising with significant implications for both borrowers and lenders. In particular, given the impact of aging on memory and other cognitive skills, there is a need to consider the implication for financial decisions made by older individuals. By the time individuals are arriving into traditional retirement ages, when many important financial decisions are made, cognitive skills are already in decline as part of normal cognitive aging. This report finds a strong correlation between housing behavior and the cognitive decline of older Americans. Importantly, normal cognitive aging also correlates to a potential borrower's ability to make decisions relating to their own housing and financial situation.
11/21/2013
A Profile of Housing and Health Among Older Americans 
With the aging of America, policy concerns at the intersection of housing and health for older Americans are growing. This paper examines the housing and health status of older Americans. It provides a profile of the housing, functional status and health status of individuals aged 55 and older, using the most recent data available from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). The paper is designed to lay out basic facts about the current state of housing and health among older Americans, and should be a useful statistical reference for . . .



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