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The financial crisis and the pricing of interest rates in the Irish mortgage market: 2003-2011

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  • Goggin, Jean

    (Central Bank of Ireland)

  • Holton, Sarah

    (Central Bank of Ireland)

  • Kelly, Jane

    (Central Bank of Ireland)

  • Lydon, Reamonn

    (Central Bank of Ireland)

  • McQuinn, Kieran

    (Central Bank of Ireland)

Abstract

This paper examines the changing manner in which Irish financial institutions set their variable interest rates over the period 2003 - 2011. In particular, the onset of the financial crisis clearly results in a break in the pass-through relationship between market rates and variable rates at the end of 2008 in the Irish mortgage market. Until the end of 2008 variable rates for all lenders closely followed changes in the ECB’s policy rates, short-term wholesale rates and tracker rate mortgages. Thereafter, the relationship breaks down, in part due to banks’ increased market funding costs. It appears that some lenders with higher mortgage arrears rates and a greater proportion of tracker rate loans on their books exhibit higher variable rates. After controlling for these factors and additional funding costs, most of the divergence between banks’ variable rates is explained, but there are some exceptions. There is also some evidence of asymmetric adjustment in rate setting behaviour: that is, rates tend to adjust slowly when they are above the long-run predicted level but more quickly when they are below this level. This asymmetric adjustment behaviour appears to increase in the post-2008 period.

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Paper provided by Central Bank of Ireland in its series Research Technical Papers with number 01/RT/12.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cbi:wpaper:01/rt/12

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  1. Klemperer, Paul, 1987. "Markets with Consumer Switching Costs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 375-94, May.
  2. Boris Hofmann & Paul Mizen, 2004. "Interest Rate Pass-Through and Monetary Transmission: Evidence from Individual Financial Institutions' Retail Rates," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 71, pages 99-123, 02.
  3. Bredin, Don & Fitzpatrick, Trevor & O'Reilly, Gerard, 2001. "Retail Interest Rate Pass-Through: The Irish Experience," Research Technical Papers 6/RT/01, Central Bank of Ireland.
  4. Diarmaid Addison-Smyth & Kieran McQuinn & Gerard O'Reilly, 2009. "Supply Response in an Uncertain Market: Assessing Future Implications for Activity Levels in the Irish Housing Sector," European Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 259-283.
  5. De Graeve, Ferre & De Jonghe, Olivier & Vennet, Rudi Vander, 2007. "Competition, transmission and bank pricing policies: Evidence from Belgian loan and deposit markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 259-278, January.
  6. Ho, Thomas S. Y. & Saunders, Anthony, 1981. "The Determinants of Bank Interest Margins: Theory and Empirical Evidence," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(04), pages 581-600, November.
  7. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  8. Leonardo Gambacorta, 2005. "How Do Banks Set Interest Rates?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 542, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
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