Spatial and Temporal Dimensions of Foreclosure Diffusion during the Great Recession

Amy L. Spring, University of Washington
Matthew Hall, Cornell University
Kyle Crowder, University of Washington

In this paper we make use of unique new data on virtually all foreclosure events occurring between 2005 and 2013 to provide a first national-level assessment of the spatial and temporal dynamics of the housing crisis as it unfolded – from the lead-up to the Great Recession and into the current recovery. We utilize geo-referenced data on nearly 20 million foreclosed housing units as compiled by RealtyTrac to produce direct measures of housing foreclosure concentrations within census block-groups across the U.S. We combine these data with information on the composition of neighborhoods (block-groups) from the decennial censuses and the American Community Survey (ACS). The paper is focused on three main goals: (1) to describe the spatial distribution of neighborhood foreclosure, (2) to provide a formal analysis of the spatiotemporal diffusion of foreclosures using emerging spatial econometric models, and (3) to assess the extent to which the sociodemographic conditions in the neighborhood affect spatiotemporal patterns of foreclosure concentration.

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Presented in Session 103: Economic and Social Consequences of the Great Recession