The Federal Reserve Bank of New York works to promote sound and well-functioning financial systems and markets through its provision of industry and payment services, advancement of infrastructure reform in key markets and training and educational support to international institutions.
The Outreach and Education function engages, empowers and educates the Second District communities that the Bank serves, especially civic leaders, students, educators, small business owners, policymakers and the general public. It furthers the Bank's commitment to the region by listening to the communities we serve and leveraging our unique attributes to positively impact school and university programs, as well as analysis and research.
We hypothesize that the intrinsic benefit required to trigger a refinancing has become smaller due to a combination of technological, regulatory, and structural changes that have made mortgage origination more competitive and more efficient. To test this hypothesis, we estimate an empirical hazard model of loan survival for two subperiods, using a database that allows us to carefully control for homeowners' credit ratings, equity, loan size, and measurable transaction costs. Our findings strongly confirm that credit ratings and home equity have significant effects on the refinancing probability. In addition, we provide evidence that homeowners postpone refinancing in the face of increased interest rate volatility, consistent with option value theory. Finally, our results clearly support the hypothesis that structural change in the mortgage market has increased homeowners' propensity to refinance.
For a published version of this report, see Paul Bennett, Richard Peach, and Stavros Peristiani, "Structural Change in the Mortgage Market and the Propensity to Refinance," Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking 33, no. 4 (November 2001): 955-75.