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April 2024

The History of National Bank Real Estate Lending: Part II (1981-2023)

This publication is part of:

Collection: Moments in History


In Part I of this article, we described how the authority of national banks to lend against real estate collateral evolved from 1863 to 1980 and how national banks became an important source of credit to U.S. households, for whom the purchase of a home is usually the largest lifetime purchase. Here in Part II, we will review the rapid pace of changes in the U.S. real estate loan market since the early 1980s as well as the implications the review has for policy questions about wealth creation and intergenerational wealth transfers. An evolutionary history overview of the political philosophy governing the chartering of banks explored through a sequence of questions and answers. The overview traces changes from the early history of bank chartering to the establishment of the federal banking system, and its subsequent evolution.


Roger Tufts