Journal of Urban and Regional Analysis

Volume 3, Number 2, 2011



Yanmei LI


Geography of opportunity and residential mortgage foreclosure: A spatial analysis of a U.S. housing market 



South Florida has been among the top foreclosure markets in the United States, but little research has explored whether this market presents different dynamics compared to other metropolitan areas. This research chooses Broward County to explore whether socioeconomic characteristics and certain public policy instruments relate to subprime lending and mortgage foreclosure patterns. Results indicate areas bounded by linear highways and railroads have a concentration of low-income black population and subprime loans. The spatial distribution of subprime loans is mostly explained by a higher percentage of minority and/or Hispanic population in a neighborhood. Yet, racial minorities, instead of Hispanic origin, contributes mostly to the concentration of subprime loans. The spatial pattern of foreclosures is more complex, determined not only by subprime loans but also possibly other factors associated with the mortgage crisis. This suggests that disadvantaged neighborhoods are disproportionally lacking favorable opportunities due to institutional and sub- cultural forces shaping the geography of subprime and foreclosure.


Key Words: mortgage foreclosure, subprime, neighborhood, geography of opportunity.


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