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House price booms, current account deficits, and low interest rates

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  • Andrea Ferrero

Abstract

One of the most striking features of the period before the Great Recession is the strong positive correlation between house price appreciation and current account deficits, not only in the United States but also in other countries that have subsequently experienced the highest degree of financial turmoil. A progressive relaxation of credit standards can rationalize this empirical observation. Lower collateral requirements facilitate access to external funding and drive up house prices. The current account turns negative because households borrow from the rest of the world. At the same time, however, the world real interest rate counterfactually increases. The two key ingredients that reconcile a demand-based explanation of house price booms and current account deficits with the evidence on real interest rates are nominal interest rates lower than the predictions of a standard monetary policy rule in leveraged economies and foreign exchange rate pegs in saving countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 541.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:541

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Keywords: Housing - Prices ; Credit ; Interest rates ; Monetary policy ; Balance of payments;

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References

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  1. Boz, Emine & Mendoza, Enrique G, 2010. "Financial Innovation, the Discovery of Risk, and the U.S. Credit Crisis," CEPR Discussion Papers 7967, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Hanno Lustig & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2002. "Housing Collateral, Consumption Insurance and Risk Premia," Macroeconomics 0211008, EconWPA.
  3. Andrea Ferrero & Mark Gertler & Lars E. O. Svensson, 2007. "Current Account Dynamics and Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: International Dimensions of Monetary Policy, pages 199-244 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Duca, John V. & Muellbauer, John & Murphy, Anthony, 2010. "Housing markets and the financial crisis of 2007-2009: Lessons for the future," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 203-217, December.
  5. Ferrero, Andrea, 2010. "A structural decomposition of the U.S. trade balance: Productivity, demographics and fiscal policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 478-490, May.
  6. Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark (ed.), 2010. "International Dimensions of Monetary Policy," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226278865, August.
  7. Andrew Haughwout & Donghoon Lee & Joseph Tracy & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2011. "Real estate investors, the leverage cycle, and the housing market crisis," Staff Reports 514, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  8. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb & Joseph Gyourko, 2012. "Can Cheap Credit Explain the Housing Boom?," NBER Chapters, in: Housing and the Financial Crisis, pages 301-359 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Matteo Iacoviello & Raoul Minetti, 2002. "Financial Liberalisation and the Sensitivity of House Prices to Monetary Policy: Theory and Evidence," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 538, Boston College Department of Economics.
  10. Klaus Adam & Pei Kuang & Albert Marcet, 2012. "House Price Booms and the Current Account," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 77 - 122.
  11. Fratzscher, Marcel & Juvenal, Luciana & Sarno, Lucio, 2010. "Asset prices, exchange rates and the current account," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 643-658, July.
  12. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973.
  13. Masao Ogaki & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1998. "Measuring Intertemporal Substitution: The Role of Durable Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 1078-1098, October.
  14. Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin, 2008. "Current account patterns and national real estate markets," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1rh4s127, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  15. Jordi Galí­ & Mark J. Gertler, 2010. "International Dimensions of Monetary Policy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gert07-1.
  16. Favara, Giovanni & Imbs, Jean, 2010. "Credit Supply and the Price of Housing," CEPR Discussion Papers 8129, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Gete, Pedro, 2009. "Housing Markets and Current Account Dynamics," MPRA Paper 20957, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Feb 2010.
  18. Guido Lorenzoni & Veronica Guerrieri, 2011. "Credit Crises, Precautionary Savings and the Liquidity Trap," 2011 Meeting Papers 1414, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  19. Joseph Nichols & Anthony Pennington-Cross & Anthony Yezer, 2004. "Borrower Self-Selection, Underwriting Costs, and Subprime Mortgage Credit Supply," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 197-219, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Enrique G. Mendoza & Emine Boz, 2009. "Financial Innovation, the Discovery of Risk, and the U.S. Credit Crisis," 2009 Meeting Papers 1273, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Geerolf, François & Grjebine, Thomas, 2013. "House Prices Drive Current Accounts: Evidence from Property Tax Variations," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1315, CEPREMAP.
  3. Yilmaz Akyüz, 2012. "The Staggering Rise of the South?," Working Papers 2012/3, Turkish Economic Association.

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