Prime or not so prime? An exploration of US housing finance in the new century

6 March 2006

Significant US house price appreciation in the last few years has greatly helped to enlarge the size and scope of secondary markets for securities backed by non-prime mortgage loans. But while many households now have access to loans which otherwise might not have been available, were housing market conditions to worsen, investors would face new issues in the valuation of mortgage-backed securities and possibly unanticipated risks.

JEL classification: G180, G280, L890.