Residential Mobility and Mortgages
Mortgage applications are a detailed and accurate source of household information that is verified by underwriters, making it a more accurate data source than self-reported survey answers. This paper discusses how mortgage data can be applied to areas of economics outside mortgage finance. As a supplement to variables from the application form, the self-selection of mortgage points is used to infer expected mobility. A duration model of housing spells is estimated, and the points indicator is shown to be highly significant in predicting mobility for low loan-to-value borrowers. The findings demonstrate the potential fruitfulness of using this new data source.