Household savings and mortgage decisions: the role of the "down-payment channel" in the euro area
AbstractThis paper analyses the interactions between household wealth, mortgage decisions and savings in a single empirical framework and identifies an important role for a "down-payment channel" in the euro area. Contrary to the traditional housing wealth channel, the "down-payment channel" posits a positive relation between household savings and house prices: a rise in house prices forces credit-constrained households who wish to acquire a house to accumulate more savings in order to cover a higher down-payment (i.e. the share of the housing acquisition value that is not covered by a mortgage). The overall effect of a rise in house prices on private consumption can be seen as the result of two offsetting forces: a rise in house prices tends to push up consumption via the traditional housing wealth channel but it also tends to depress the consumption of credit-constrained households who wish to acquire a house via the down-payment channel. Estimates based on a structural VEC model for the euro area suggest that the down-payment effect tends to dominate in the medium term, translating into an overall negative impact of higher house prices on consumption in the euro area.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission in its series European Economy - Economic Papers with number 445.
Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
- E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-12-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-BAN-2011-12-05 (Banking)
- NEP-EEC-2011-12-05 (European Economics)
- NEP-MAC-2011-12-05 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-MON-2011-12-05 (Monetary Economics)
- NEP-URE-2011-12-05 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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