Environmental and Security Risk Factors behind Mortgage Arrears in Israel

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If a mortgage borrower misses three or more payments, the loan moves into the mortgage arrears (MA) category. This study examines MA events in Israel from 2010 to 2016, focusing on the effect of several environmental and security risk factors, including air pollution, proximity to the Lebanon-Syria and Gaza Strip borders, and location outside the 1949 Armistice border (Green Line). The analysis reveals statistically significant associations between MA incidence and most of the environmental variables analyzed. We conjecture that these associations reflect the fact that prolonged exposure to air pollution may elevate morbidity and weaken the ability of borrowers to make regular loan repayments. In addition, security risks may limit the attractiveness of high-risk areas to developers and investors, thus restricting employment opportunities locally available. Air pollution and security risks may also decrease the asset value by lowering housing demand due to out-migration of more affluent residents. The present analysis is a pioneer individual level study that investigates the effect of air pollution and proximity to conflict zones on MA incidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-205
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Real Estate Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Real Estate Society.


  • Air-pollution; Israel; mortgage arrears; security risks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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