The 1920s American Real Estate Boom and the Downturn of the Great Depression: Evidence from City Cross Sections

Michael Brocker, Christopher Hanes

NBER Working Paper No. 18852
Issued in February 2013
NBER Program(s):   DAE

In the 1929-1933 downturn of the Great Depression, house values and homeownership rates fell more, and mortgage foreclosure rates were higher, in cities that had experienced relatively high rates of house construction in the residential real-estate boom of the mid-1920s. Across the 1920s, boom cities had seen the biggest increases in house values and homeownership rates. These patterns suggest that the mid-1920s boom contributed to the depth of the Great Depression through wealth and financial effects of falling house values. Also, they are very similar to cross-sectional patterns across metro areas around 2006.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18852

Published: The 1920s American Real Estate Boom and the Downturn of the Great Depression: Evidence from City Cross-Sections, Michael Brocker, Christopher Hanes. in Housing and Mortgage Markets in Historical Perspective, White, Snowden, and Fishback. 2014

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