Research Report Small-Dollar Mortgages for Single-Family Residential Properties
Alanna McCargo, Bing Bai, Taz George, Sarah Strochak
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There is a significant lack of financing available for low-cost homes, which many first-time homebuyers and low- and middle-income families rely on to move from renting to homeownership. This brief examines the availability of small-dollar mortgages (up to $70,000) for home purchases, refinances, and improvements, presenting a wealth of information on borrower and loan characteristics, production channels, and the geographic distribution of low-cost homes. We find that there is limited mortgage availability for the small loans needed to support the significant number of low-cost property sales and determine that low-cost properties could be a larger source of affordable housing if credit access for purchasing and rehabilitating these properties was expanded and improved.

Data for Figure 6: 300 Counties with the Highest Shares of Home Sales up to $70,000

Research Areas Wealth and financial well-being Housing finance Housing
Tags Racial homeownership gap Single-family finance Credit availability Homeownership Financial products and services Housing affordability Inequality and mobility Opportunity and ownership Finance
Policy Centers Housing Finance Policy Center