Document Type




Format of Original

23 p.

Publication Date




Source Publication

Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics

Source ISSN



Although nonprime lending has experienced steady or even explosive growth over the last decade very little is known about the performance characteristics of these mortgages. Using data from national secondary market institutions, this paper estimates a competing risks proportional hazard model, which includes unobserved heterogeneity. The analysis examines the performance of 30-year fixed rate owner occupied home purchase mortgages from February 1995 to the end of 1999 and compares nonprime and prime loan default and prepayment behavior. Nonprime loans are identified by mortgage interest rates that are substantially higher than the prevailing prime rate. Results indicate that nonprime mortgages differ significantly from prime mortgages: they have different risk characteristics at origination; they default at elevated levels; and they respond differently to the incentives to prepay and default. For instance, nonprime mortgages are less responsive to how much the option to call the mortgage or refinance is in the money and this effect is magnified for mortgages with low credit scores. Tests also reveal that default rates are less responsive to homeowner equity when credit scores are included in the specification.


Accepted version. Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Vol. 27, No. 3 (November 2003): 279-301. DOI. © Springer Publishing Company 2003. Used with permission.

Anthony Pennington-Cross was affiliated with the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise and Oversight and the time of publication.